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Gustave Jean Jacquet (French, 1846-1909)
Gustave Jean Jacquet (French, 1846-1909)

Portrait of a girl standing full-length in Turkish costume

Gustave Jean Jacquet (French, 1846-1909)
Portrait of a girl standing full-length in Turkish costume
signed and dated 'G. Jacquet/1880' (lower right)
oil on canvas
65 3/8 x 33½ in. (166 x 85 cm.)
in a contemporary parcel-gilt and ebonised composition frame
Paris, Grand Palais, Exposition Retrospective Gustave Jacquet, 1919.

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Lot Essay

A pupil of the William-Adolphe Bouguereau and a Salon exhibitor from 1865, Jacquet was renowned for his portraits and genre paintings of figures in 16, 17th and 18th Century costume. His work was often on a small scale and meticulously detailed, paying particular attention to the rich rendering of fabrics and textures.

During the second half of the 19th Century, the public held a fascination with the exotic and antique; there was a vogue not only for historical genre, but also for orientalist subject matter. This loose term encompassed any country or culture from North Africa to India that could be seen as exotic in custom, architecture and costume. Although becoming more accessible as the century progressed, these paintings provided the western viewer with a window to a culture that was seen as mysterious and romantic. It was a world still beyond the reach and knowledge of most Europeans, who marveled at the outlandish costumes and landscapes.

In this large exhibition piece, Jacquet has combined two fashionable subjects for Salon paintings of the period: female beauty and exoticism. He dresses his model in a westerner's ideal of Turkish costume. Her hair is uncovered, clearly in the style the contemporary Parisian fashion, yet tumbling freely down, disheveled, over her shoulders. She looks alluringly at the viewer, her face highlighted by full, ripe lips.

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