Miss Demarsy Does LA

Helloooo hellooooooooo!!!! How are my dear Museworthy friends? I’m here. I’m alive! Just had a busy week of art modeling for which I am grateful. Now gratitude has turned into relief that my schedule is quieting down until after Thanksgiving. Whew! I hope none of you are suffering with foot pain like I am. Between standing poses and walking the city streets, my feet take a beating. Any reflexologists out there? 😉

Some of you may have heard about the art auction fever of recent weeks. Both Christie’s and Sotheby’s held thrilling blockbuster sales. Among the lots up for purchase was an enchanting 1881 Manet painting called Le Printemps (“Spring”), which exceeded expectations and sold for $65 million at the Christie’s auction. That is a record high price tag for a Manet. So who is the new owner of this fetching work? The J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, which announced the new acquisition in an excellent press release and a very delighted tweet. It was especially nice to see an art institution obtain the work instead of, say, another hedge fund manager. Congratulations Getty! She’s a beauty 🙂


The model for Le Printemps is Jeanne Demarsy, a popular Parisian actress during the 1880s and 1890s who served as an art muse for both Manet and Renoir. She was born Anne Darlaud in 1865 in Limoges, and her sister Eugénie-Marie also worked as an artist’s model and actress. Jeanne made her stage debut in 1887 in Jacques Offenbach’s operetta “Orpheus in the Underworld” in the role of Venus. In Le Printemps Manet painted Demarsy in a most charming arrangement; holding a parasol with gloved hand and wearing an adorable bonnet. What’s impressive to me is that Manet managed to depict the lush verdant colors of spring without allowing them to overwhelm or compete with the subject. Jeanne is still front and center. The black bow breaks up the profusion of colors very nicely. Visualize the work for a moment without the black bow. Very different, yes? Well done Monsieur Manet.

In this vintage of photo of Jeanne Demarsy we can see that she has soft, expressive eyes and a gentle countenance:


Manet made this lovely pastel sketch of Jeanne the same year he painted Le Printemps. While this wouldn’t sell for $65 million at auction, heck I’d be more than happy to own it. Christie’s, let’s start the bidding! 😆


9 thoughts on “Miss Demarsy Does LA

  1. Bill says:

    Drat — I’m afraid I could only afford to bid $64 million — you know, with Christmas coming and everything 🙂

    But it is indeed a beautiful piece . . . and a beautiful muse. And you’re very right about the use of the black bow — and the hair, eyebrow and eyelash also help to frame the face.

    She probably had sore feet, too. Hope yours feel better.

    • artmodel says:


      I agree. With the holidays approaching we have to be more frugal with our Christie’s art auction purchases. The sacrifices we make! 😆

      Thanks for your comments and your concern for my feet! They’re feeling better, but I think they still hate me 😡


  2. artmodelandrew says:

    Contrapposto can be tough on the foot holding the weight after a while. Even seated poses can be grueling if there’s pressure on the side of the foot. Been experiencing both. Massaging or stretching during the breaks can help.

    Bill, I don’t think that painting is worth a penny over $64 million. You showed great discipline is sticking to your limit.

    • Bill says:

      Thanks, Andrew. And it worked out in the end — I bought this really great painting of Elvis on black velvet at a yard sale for $63,999,998 less. I’m going to spend the difference on chocolate 🙂

    • artmodel says:


      Yes, stretching is a must. The thing about foot pain is that it kicks in later. I come home, put my feet up after a long day of work, and I think it’s all good. Then in the morning I wake up in bed and … ow ow! Platforms without padding, yoga mat, etc are a problem, as I’m sure you know.

      Thanks for your comments!


  3. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for bringing the human interest of the model to this story – what would she have said if she’d known that her face would one day be worth a fortune! It was interesting to see the photo of her, and note that the painting is indeed a good likeness. As you pointed out, the black bow clearly interested Manet – it must have communicated something across the years, as it’s made me fancy doing some life drawing!

    Hope your feet will soon be improved and that your preps for Thanksgiving go well. 🙂


    • artmodel says:


      I posted the photo of Jeanne for exactly the reason you mentioned – to see Manet’s depiction of her likeness which is certainly very good. Of course, this is Manet we’re talking about! And I was lucky to find the same profile view.

      So good to hear from you Jennifer! My feet will tough it out, like they always do. Hope everything is well with you, friend 🙂


  4. Dave says:


    Thanks for a really interesting post. Did Manet make any figure drawings or paintings of Jeanne Demarsy, his muse?

    I’m typing this message during a break while posing for a portrait class. I don’t seem to ever get sore feet, even when I do a long standing pose. But these long seated poses are death for my butt.


    • artmodel says:


      I hear you about the long seated poses. My tush has suffered! A good cushion is essential, especially for those of us who are not well endowed with enough natural padding 😉

      I don’t know if Manet did any figure drawings of Jeanne Demarsy. I tried a search but may try again.

      Thanks for your comments!


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