Arthur Navez, (1881-1931) was a Belgian painter, often associated with Fauvism.
He studied at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, then in Brussels.
At the age of 19, he moved to Paris, the capital of art and modernity.
He took classes with the great Jean Léon Gérôme and worked with the Fauves and Impressionists.
He returned to Belgium in 1907 and frequented various art groups. He exhibited at the major European Salons.
He also became a theater decorator and worked on the artistic direction of a number of films.
In 1915, Arthur Navez embarked on a series entitled "Femmes au café".
In turn, we see the influence of the great Impressionist masters he had frequented in Paris: Manet, Renoir, Degas...
Our painting is one of them.
Here, the painter adopts the Impressionist codes: the portrait of a lone woman, elegantly dressed, gazing intently at the viewer with a melancholy air.
Behind her, of course, is a large mirror, allowing the painting to be enlarged and the reflection to be played with.
The artist has a predilection for scenes of daily life and portraits. Often, the figures go about their business, oblivious to the viewer's gaze.
Having lived in Paris, where everything takes place in the bistro, Navez executed numerous canvases on this theme;
This is a portrait of great beauty, but also of great technique.
Look carefully at the colors, all in pastel tones, enhanced by a few brighter touches of white, blue or brown, bringing contrast and vivacity to the scene.
Observe the reflection of the roses in the mirror, the transparency of the glass placed on a tray, the velvety texture of the peach, the lascivious pause of the hands...
It's a luminous, tender and poetic painting that the artist offers us.
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