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Sikh items

Study of Sikh and Pathan heads.

Millière, Maurice. (1871-1946).

Drypoint and coloured etching on ‘papier velin’, numbered 20 and signed in pencil. 380 x 510mm. (15 ins x 20 ins). Circa 1920.

The inspiration for this uncharacteristic work by Millière could have been the presence of Indian troops in France during the First World War or alternatively one of the colonial exhibitions held in Paris in the inter-war period. No more than one or two hundred copies were likely to have been made.

Born in Normandy, Maurice Millière began his art education in Le Havre, but was soon transferred to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and Arts Décoratifs in Paris where he was a classmate of Toulouse-Lautrec and Raoul Dufy among others.

His skill as a draftsman translated quickly into success as an illustrator and his brilliant interpretation of the "Modern Parisienne" soon became known as the "Petite femme de Millière". Using the technique of colour etching and drypoint, Millière created a modern woman who was coy, charming, independent and beautiful. Slightly erotic and very appealing, Millière's portrayals became known as "Femmes Poupées" or "Doll Women", and with them, he created the genre of Boudoir Art.

Millière's success continued to grow during the 1920's. He was made a Chevalier de Legion d'Honneur, and his concern for the welfare of children affected by World War I led him to become the treasurer for Charitable Works in Montmartre where he lived. Although his art became slightly less erotic and more sedate during this time he continued to work steadily and in various mediums.

The inspiration for this uncharacteristic work by Millière could have been the presence of Indian troops in France during the First World War or alternatively one of the colonial exhibitions held in Paris in the inter-war period.

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