Bordeaux 4 March 1889 – 16 November 1962 Paris
Scene from Lucrecia Borgia, by Victor Hugo Act III Feast at Palazzo Negroni, performed at the Comedie Francaise in 1918
Oil on board
38 by 46 cm; 15 by 18 inches
Signed and dated lower right: Jean/Gabriel/Domergue 1918
Private collection, Germany
This painting dates from Domergue’s early period before he settled down to concentrate solely on portraiture of the Parisien Elite. It is an extremely rare piece as very few non-portrait paintings have either survived prior to Domergue’s success as a portraitist. Domergue was born in Bordeaux and studied at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. In 1911, he was a winner of the Prix de Rome. From the 1920s onward he concentrated on portraits, and claimed to be “the inventor of the pin-up”. He also designed clothes for the couturier Paul Poiret. From 1955 until 1962 he was the curator of the Musée Jacquemart-André, organising exhibitions of the works of Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec, Goya and others.
Domergue was appointed a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur. He died 16 November 1962 in Paris.