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Abel Faivre (1867-1945)

Abel Faivre (1867-1945)




Nymph with butterflies

Oil on canvas

France, 1895


40,6 x 33 cm

Copper gilded ornamental frame


Signed bottom left

  • Impressionist symbolism

    The painting by Abel Faivre depicts a nymph, an ethereal figure associated with nature and fertility, surrounded by butterflies, which symbolize transformation and change.


    The nymph’s flowing white garments and pink flower-adorned hair convey purity and beauty. The vibrant background suggests a sunrise or sunset, representing beginnings or endings. The water symbolizes emotions and the subconscious.


    This artwork captures a moment of movement and symbolic meaning, reflecting Faivre’s style and the use of symbolism in art history.

  • Abel Faivre (France 1867-1945)

    French artist Abel Faivre was not only a painter but also watercolorist, pastellist, draughtsman and illustrator. His work contains genre scenes, portraits, figures, nudes, interiors, still-lifes with fruit and also humorous cartoons.





    He was a pupil of Jean-Baptiste Poncet at the École des Beaux-Arts, Lyons, which he entered in 1886, and then of Benjamin-Constant and Jules Lefebvre in Paris. He also received advice from Renoir. He exhibited regularly at the Salon de Lyons, in 1899 with Return from Wagram, winning the Salon medal in 1897, and at the Salon de Paris from 1982, with Woman Musing in 1898, The Virgin with Children in 1899, Woman with a Fan in 1901, Child with a Book in 1906, and Portrait of Maurice Donnay in 1907. At this salon he won a third-class medal in 1894, and he was awarded an honourable mention at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 and the Légion d'Honneur in 1906.





    Although his portraits of women are charming, it is as an illustrator rather than a painter that he is remembered. His drawing, which contrasts white with flat blocks of black, is forceful, deliberate and cruel. He contributed caricatures to many periodicals of the period: L'Assiette au beurre, La Baïonnette, Candide, L'Écho de Paris, Figaro, Gazette du bon ton, Le Journal, and Le Rire. His targets were mainly the world of medicine and the bourgeoisie - especially mature middle-class women with animal-like and lecherous faces.





    Lyons (MBA): Portrait of a Young Girl; Woman in Blue

    Paris (Mus. d'Orsay): Woman with a Fan (1901)

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