Eva Gonzalès (French, 1849-1883) – Awakening Girl (Oil on canvas. Kunsthalle Bremen) – – This is a deceptively simple work with most of the canvas covered by the whiteness of the bed linens and the woman’s gown. One’s eye is drawn to the beautiful face of the woman, which is framed, in stark contrast, by her dark hair. The background is balanced by the bedside table on which lie the blue flowers and the book which was likely read prior to the woman sleeping.
In the world according to “LAC (After Swan Lake),” a trashy reinterpretation by Jean-Christophe Maillot for Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, there are two types of women: the kind you marry and the kind you sleep with. April Ball’s primal Black Swan is a predator. Her mother, known as Her Majesty of the Night (Maude Sabourin), is even more overheated. – April Ball (Black Swan) in LAC, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, April 2014. © Dave Morgan
Giovanni Boldini (Italian, 1842-1931). Cléo de Mérode, 1901 (Oil on canvas) – Cléo de Mérode (1875-1966), an international sensation and one of the most photographed woman in the world in her time, was a French ballerina, who achieved fame with her face, not her feet. Cléo was a good dancer but her beauty caught the public’s eye. By 13, she already had posed for Jean-Louis Forain and Edgar Degas, who often sketched her…
Mary Imogene Robertson (1902-1948) began her career as a Ziegfeld girl in the 1920s performing under the stage name Imogene “Bubbles” Wilson. She was fired in 1924 for her involvement in a tumultuous and highly publicized affair with comedian Frank Tinney. She left the US shortly thereafter. She appeared in seventeen German films from 1925 to 1927 with a new stage name, Imogene Robertson… (Photograph by E.O. Hoppé, 1924)