Monday, 30 July 2018

Virginie Élodie Marie Thérèse Demont-Breton known as Virginie Demont-Breton (1859 – 1935) – French artist and poet

Virginie Élodie Marie Thérèse Breton was born on 26th  July 1859 at Courrières, a commune in the Pas-de-Calais department in the Hauts-de-France region of France.   Virginie’s father was the artist Jules Breton (1827-1906), and her uncle was the artist Emile Breton.

Beginning in 1879, Virginie exhibited examples of her work in Paris. She was awarded a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition held in Amsterdam in 1883. In 1880, Virginie married the artist Adrien Demont en 1880 and they had three daughters - Louise, Adrienne et Éliane.
 In 1890, Virginie and her husband moved to Wissant, a small village on the ‘Opal Coast’ in France between Capes Blanc-Nez and Gris-Nes.  The following year they had a house built by the Belgian architect Edmond De Vigne.

Virginie Demont-Breton joined the French Union of women artists and sculptors in 1883 and was President of the Union from 1895 until 1901.  In 1894, Virginie was awarded a Legion d’honneur.

Virginie died in Paris on 10th January 1935.

See some of Virginie’s beautiful paintings here:
https://iamachild.wordpress.com/2009/04/09/virginie-demont-breton-1859-1935-french/

Virginie’s poetry collection, “Tendresses dans la tourmente: 1914-1919 poésies”, was published by Alphonse Lemerre, Paris, 1920.  I am trying to find some of Virginie’s poems.  If anyone can help, please get in touch.

With thanks to Régine Verguier for finding Virginie for me

Virginie's most famous painting "L'Homme est en mer" - English translation 'Her husband is away at sea' evokes for me the sentiments of women during the Fist World War.

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