The Metropolitan Museum exhibit “Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity” ends Memorial Day. If you are able to attend it is well worth it. Among the Monets, Manets and Renoirs, a painting by a lesser known French artist was the one that captivated me.
A portrait by Albert Bartholome´ of his wife Prosperie.
Albert Bartholome´ (1848-1928)
Oil on cnavas 92 1/4″ x 56 1/8″ ca. 1881
de Fleury (1849-1887) was known to be “so welcoming to commoners, bohemians, intellectuals and dinner guests alike, that evenings spent discussing music, painting and books, and especially politics where Degas, a staunch nationalist, set the tone with an authority accepted by everyone (except Mary Cassatt, the free-spirited American artist), seemed to take place in a world apart, one unique to Paris.” – Jacques-Emile Blanche
(quote from here
Prosperie died six years after her portrait was displayed at the 1881 Paris Salon. Albert kept the dress his beloved wife wore. It stands in the Metropolitan Museum gallery near her portrait, the tracks of his tears no longer visible.
Dress worn by Madame Bartholomé in the painting by Albert Bartholomé1880 Paris, Musée d’OrsayGift of the Charles and André Bailly Gallery, 1991
After Prosperie’s death Albert was so grief stricken he stopped painting.
Degas convinced him to take up sculpture.
His first sculpture was for Prosperie’s grave.