Jacqueline Marval (French 1866–1932). Oil on canvas signed “Marval”. Inscribed on the back: “La Balancoire”
91 cm by 71,5 cm.
Jacqueline Marval (Marie-Joséphine Vallet) was born in Quaix-en-Chartreuse, France on the 19th October 1866. The daughter of two school teachers she herself qualified as a schoolteacher in 1884. When her first marriage broke down in 1891, after the death of her child, she moved to Paris to pursue a career as an artist. In 1894, she met the painter François Joseph Girot and began living with him in Paris as his lover. The following year, she met Jules Flandrin, another painter and a student of Gustave Moreau. They fell in love and she left Girot to move in with Flandrin, in Rue Campagne-Première, in Montparnasse. She would live with him as his companion and mistress for the next 20 years.
In 1901, she exhibited a dozen paintings for the first time at the Salon des Indépendants, under the pseudonym of Jacqueline Marval (made up from the first 3 letters of her forename, Marie and her surname, Vallet). The art dealer Ambroise Vollard bought them all and would also acquire her ‘Les Odalisques’, one of her largest and most important works painted in 1903.
In 1902, several of her paintings were displayed alongside works by Flandrin, Albert Marquet, and Henri Matisse in a gallery in Rue Victor-Massé curated by Berthe Weill, who was particularly interested in promoting the works of female artists living in Paris. In 1909, she exhibited for the first time at Galerie Druet, founded by Alfonse Eugène Druet in 1903 at 114, Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré and moved to the Rue Royale in 1908. In the years that followed she would exhibit here regularly alongside other artists such as Georges Rouault, Roger de la Fresnaye and Henri Matisse. In 1912, as can be seen from the photograph from the collection of François Roussier below, she had on show at Galerie Druet ‘Les Odalisques’ and on its right, is ‘La Balancoire’.
A year later in 1913 Francis Picabia attended the Armory Show, an important exhibition of modern art in New York and displayed Marval’s ‘Les Odalisques’. Guillaume Apollinaire, the French critic wrote in the Chronique des arts “Mme. Marval has given the measure of her talent and has achieved a work of importance for modern painting.” Marvel went on to have numerous exhibitions both in France and across Europe up until her death in Paris on the 28th of May 1932. Her art is seen as an important early modernist mix of Realism, Fauvism and Expressionism. Stylistically, her work has been described as ‘provocative and edgy, challenging and unusual, she was an important modernist at the earliest moments of the movement.’ (Papillon Gallery – Los Angeles California). Since her death in 1932 there have been retrospective exhibitions in Paris, Grenoble and London. Interestingly ‘La Balancoire’ was included at the Société des Artistes Indépendants annual Exhibition in 1970 – see attached plaque to the back of the frame. In 1989 The Crane Gallery in London held a major Retrospective Exhibition on Jaqueline Marval and ‘La Balancoire’ was shown (Crane Gallery Catalogue-page 15) – see attached label to the back of the frame. The Provenance is cited as “Private Collection, Oxfordshire”