Francois, Jacques

almost finished

Jacques François

pseudonym for probably:

Comtesse de Rambure

 

 

An unknow ‘impressionist’ paintress:

Monneret mentions at one place that Jacques François is a pseudonym of a female paintress (R88I,p254). Other sources confirm this information and add that she was unknown (R3,p662; R16,p137;R1,p391). She joined the 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1876 and the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1877. But when Monneret writes about Comtesse de Rambures, she writes ‘(she) seems to be the artist appearing at various impressionist exhibitions under the pseudonym of Jacques-François.’ (R88I,p706). Indirectly this is afirmed by Caillebotte who writes in a letter to Pissarro that ‘Mme de Rambure’ also exhibited in 1876 and 1877 (R102,p275). Because this is not quite clear I refer to the page on Comtesse de Rambure for additional information.
Anyway this female paintress joined the 2nd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1876 as ‘François (Jacques)’ with 8 works (catalogue numbers 73-80; R2,p262;R90I,p49;iR1). The 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1877 she joined as ‘Jacques-François’ with 2 works (catalogue numbers 74 + 75; R2,p204;R90I,p118;iE1). Moffett doesn’t give any additional information apart from her works in the catalogue. Monneret (R88I), Walther (R3) and Spiess (R16) don’t give any additional information either. Berson omits Jacques-François in her suggestions for the 1877 catalogue, which means there were no reviews (R90II,p74/5). In her suggestions for the 1876 catalogue she refers to some reviews on the numbers 75, 76 and 77 (R90II,p37). I will render them here below. All the other sources I used don’t mention her at all.
Search on the internet has not much use. ‘Jacques’ and ‘François’ are very common french first names, so you will get an enormous list of hits. This also is the case with the Salon database (iR1). Even if you add ‘painter’ you won’t get a match. The french Wikipedia (iR4) site renders a page on ‘Jacques François’, but this is another person. Nowhere could I find one picture of this unknown paintress.
When we look at the titles of the catalogue of 1876 (see below) ‘Jacques François’ exhibited mainly still lives (no. 73, 74, 75?, 77, 78, 79, 80). Besides that she also exhibited two portraits (2IE-1876-76 and 3IE-1877-74). ‘À Vêpres’ (3IE-1877-75) is probably or a city view or an interieur of a church. It is obvious she didn’t exhibited landscapes, what was most common at the ‘impressionist’ expositions. Attendu was one of the few who also exhibited many still lives.
Other information we can extract from the catalogue is that she probably visited the Alhambra in southern Spain (2IE-1876-75), which would suggest she was prosperous and that she visited maybe an unknown hamlet called Vêpres in the neighbourhood of Lyon or did paint a vespers, which maybe maint she was a religious person (3IE-1877-75). This could correspond with the fact that marquise de Rambures stayed around 1871 in Madrid and in 1899 she published a book with religious texts.
I hope in the future there will be more known about our unknown ‘Jacques François’.

1876 catalogue ‘François (Jacques)’ :
(alphabetically listed as ‘F’)

2IE-1876-73          Raisins
Eng.: Raisins. Probably a still life. Emile Blémont (1876/04/09) mentions ‘a large still-life’ (R90I,p64), which can refer to all the still-lifes Jacques-François exhibited, not only no.77 as Berson suggests (R90II,p37).

2IE-1876-74          Prunes
Eng.: plums. Probably a still life. Emile Blémont (1876/04/09) mentions ‘a large still-life’ (R90I,p64), which can refer to all the still-lifes Jacques-François exhibited, not only no.77 as Berson suggests (R90II,p37).

2IE-1876-75          Estamo de tabacco à l’Alhambra
The meaning of this title is unclear. The Spanish verb ‘estamos’ means ‘we are’. ‘Tabacco’ is an English word, which is written in Spanish as ‘tabaco’ and in French as ‘tabac’. The Alhambra is the famous Moresque castle in Granada in the South of Spain (see info; see pictures). I assume ‘Estamo de tabacco’ is the title of an object to be found in the Alhambra. So probably this painting is a still life. In any case it is likely that our paintress visited the Alhambra, which would suggest she was prosperous. ‘L’Audience (1876/04/09) reviews that ‘it is worth mentioning’ this work of ‘M. François-Jacques’ (R90I,p53).

2IE-1876-76          Portrait de Mme M…
Eng.: Portrait of madam M… Emile Blémont (1876/04/09) mentions ‘a nice figure of a young woman’ (R90I,p64).

2IE-1876-77          Le dessert
Eng.: The dessert. Probably a still life. Emile Blémont (1876/04/09) mentions ‘a large still-life’ (R90I,p64), which can refer to all the still-lifes Jacques-François exhibited, not only no.77 as Berson suggests (R90I,p64). The review of Gustave Rivière (1876/04/13) was reprinted (1876/05/01) in ‘L’Artiste’ (by Pierre Dax). It is a large and very positive review: ‘M. Jacques François (a lady, I believe) exhibited a remarkable still life, of dried raisins, of bakeries, boxes of prunes, etc. It is a masterpiece without precedent. Never has a still life been made with this spirit and in this craftsmanship. It is an extraordinary oeuvre that opens a new direction for still life; we can’t repeat it too often, we’ve never seen anything like it. The craftsmanship is broad and varied, very ingenious and daringly feminine. Many other still lifes by the same painter contain the same qualities but are not as important. Mr. Jacques François has just given a result from which many artists will certainly benefit.’ (R90I,p70). The fact that the review writes about ‘dried raisins, of bakeries, boxes of prunes, etc’ makes it likely it refers to this number 77.

2IE-1876-78          Roses jaunes et raisin
Eng.: yellow roses and raisin. Probably a still life. Emile Blémont (1876/04/09) mentions ‘a large still-life’ (R90I,p64), which can refer to all the still-lifes Jacques-François exhibited, not only no.77 as Berson suggests (R90II,p37).

2IE-1876-79          Raisin et grenades
Eng.: raisin and pomegranates. Probably a still life. Emile Blémont (1876/04/09) mentions ‘a large still-life’ (R90I,p64), which can refer to all the still-lifes Jacques-François exhibited, not only no.77 as Berson suggests (R90II,p37). 

2IE-1876-80          Raisin et grenade
Eng.: raisin and pomegranate. Probably a still life. Emile Blémont (1876/04/09) mentions ‘a large still-life’ (R90I,p64), which can refer to all the still-lifes Jacques-François exhibited, not only no.77 as Berson suggests (R90II,p37). 

 

1877 catalogue ‘Jacques-François’ :
(alphabetically listed as ‘J’)

3IE-1877-74          Portrait de madame B…
Eng.: portrait of madam B…

3IE-1877-75          À Vêpres
Eng.: at Vêpres. This would indicate a location. On Google maps I could not find a location with this name. There are two ‘chemin de Vêpres’ and one ‘rue de Vêpres’ in the neighbourhood of Lyon. But ‘veprês’ also means vespers or evensong, which would indicate a painting of a church celebrating or a choir singing the vespers.

 

 

‘Jacques François’, sources:

My main sources are Monneret (1978-81=R88I), Berson (1996=R90), Rewald (1973 =R1), Moffett (1986 = R2), Walther (2013 = R3,p662) and Spiess (1992 = R16,p137). For other general references (=R) see. For other references to internet sites (=iR) see.