French Private Collection
Joseph Granié, son of an upholsterer in Toulouse received his formation at the studio of Jules Garipuy at the Municipal School of Fine Arts. He was a pupil of Gérôme in Paris and exhibited at the official Salons of 1879. Under the guidance of Félix Ziem, he also painted on vellum, in rare and precious tones for the illustration of several miniatures.
Granié is best known for his female portraits, tinged with symbolism, distinguished by their undeniable sweetness and sensuality. They reveal an attention to exact drawing and a taste for mystery. There are a number of important portraits drawn in graphite pencil on paper, finished in slight gray with a little gouache in sober and elegant lines.
In 1899 the artist seems to have reached maturity, underlined by the purchase of his portrait of Marguerite Moreno (Fig.1) by the governement. This emblematic work -now in the Musée d’Orsay summarizes the art and spirit of Graniés’ perfect technique and quaintness. In the following year, “The Kiss” (Fig.2) still shows the artists’ taste for oddity and especially his audacity. Our small panel has to be seen in line with these two iconic paintings (Fig.1 and Fig.2). The model with the almond-shaped eyes, pointed nose and translucent skin takes on the canon of Graniés’ female portraits. Just like our young Ladys’ mischievous and mysterious expression does.