Arts Everyday Living: Through a Child’s Eyes–Posing for the Artist, The Perfect Profile

Jean-Jacques Henner, Alsatian Girl, 1873, oil on wood, Chester Dale Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Title: Alsatian Girl, 1873

Artist: Jean-Jacques Henner (1829-1905)

She is a serious and even solemn child.  Sitting perfectly still for the artist, French 19th century master Jean-Jacques Henner (1829-1905). Her eyes unmoving, perhaps concentrating on maintaining the pose probably selected by the painter. Like Henner she was from Alsace, a province in northeastern France as indicated in the title; no other information is available such as her name and age.

Henner has chosen all the elements necessary for a masterpiece: the striking profile; the realistic rendering of the girl’s features, skin, and hair (can you almost feel its texture?); as well as a rich palette of colors including black, red, and a green background.




In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

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