An original gouache cover illustration for a 1928 issue of the notorious French publication La Vie Parisienne. The long running, humorous, and racy magazine chronicled the exploits and sexual proclivities of sassy and free spirited French follies showgirls and their often dim witted suitors in risque, breezy, spicy pulp-like fashion. Maurice Milliere was a frequent contributor, fans on both sides of the Atlantic were familiar with the adventures of this delightful bobbed hair cover girl “Fanny” who appeared in a variety of humorous and or scandalous poses. This original gouache painting is nicely double matted in an oval window in a fine antique ornate gesso gold frame behind glass.
Maurice Milliere (1871 -1946) was a prolific French illustrator, artist, designer and etcher. He was a key figure in what has come to be regarded as “Boudoir Art,” and an influence on later artists like Louis Icart. Born in Normandy, France, Maurice Millière began his art education in Le Havre, but was soon transferred to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and Arts Décoratifs in Paris where he was a classmate of Toulouse-Lautrec and Raoul Dufy among others.
His skill as a draftsman translated quickly into success as an illustrator and his brilliant interpretation of the “Modern Parisienne” soon became known as the “Petite femme de Millière.” Using the technique of color etching and drypoint, Millière created a modern woman who was coy, charming, independent and beautiful. Slightly erotic and very adorable, Millière’s portrayals became known as “Femmes Poupées” or “Doll Women,” and with them, he created the genre of Boudoir Art.
Millière’s success continued to grow during the 1920’s. He was made a Chevalier de Legion d’Honneur, and his concern for the welfare of children affected by World War I led him to become the treasurer for Charitable Works in Montmartre where he lived. Although his art became slightly less erotic and more sedate during this time he continued to work steadily and in various mediums.