Artist : Janie Michels (1920 - 2009)
Title : Normandy in winter
Medium : Gouache on grey paper
Type of work : Original painting signed lower right
Dimensions : 47 cm x 61 cm
Condition : Good, voluntary cuts by the artist at the bottom angles and a lack on the left (see photo 2) which will be almost invisible to the frame. On the back, 2 small restorations at the level of the lack
Provenance : Workshop of the artist, the invoice engage the gallery's responsibility for the authenticity of the work.
Why Bertrand Likes : Intimate works, sometimes timeless, which suggest a personal lifestyle and love of beauty. I love this Matissian presence, the softness of the colors and the love she brings to her adopted land of Normandy
Why Nathan likes : I see Matisse, but also Marc Chagall and sometimes even Van Gogh She lived through some turbulent times but throughout Janie’s work I feel a wonderful sense of optimism. I have Janie Michel’s paintings on my walls at home, and looking at them gives me enormous pleasure.
Expert's comments : What we immediately notice in the works of Janie Michels is the elegance of this character artist who is above all an independent woman. No wonder that the features of "the countess of the chapel" who will be official painter of the Belgian court are lively, expressive but also borrowed from a certain lightness. On the canvas, this lively gesture combined with the softness of the colors constitutes the main peculiarity of the artist's style. With her subjects, Janie Michels lets us glimpse a modern world that is both fabulous and a little out of time, nostalgic for the 19th century or Greek antiquity. We understand better her painting when we know that she had James Ensor and Henri Matisse as spiritual fathers, of whom she was to model and educate for 14 years. She borrows from Ensor a taste for bright, bright colors, but it is in her interiors and still lifes that the influence of master Matisse is most powerful. We find there this freedom of drawing specific to the artist but also a soft tawny color palette. Painting flowers is an opportunity for the artist to bathe in color and seek out all the hues. The artist also invites us with class but unpretentiousness to enter his intimacy populated by famous figures from the artistic world, beautiful properties in which his favorite animals: horses and cats evolve. She takes us for a walk in this Normandy that we appreciate so much, the countryside of the country of trough and the seaside (Deauville, Trouville and Honfleur ...). Throughout her career, she will keep the taste of portraiture and will remain faithful to the technique taught by Matisse. It begins with a classic charcoal drawing then purifies to find the essential line. Janie Michels will keep the Master's letters in which he lavished his advice as a treasure.
Artist's biography : Of Belgian and Dutch origin, Janie Michels was eight years old when she encountered painting in Ostend in James Ensor's studio populated with carnival masks, skeletons and seashells. She studied at the School of Fine Arts in Brussels then fled occupied Belgium for the south of France in 1940. Determined to meet Matisse, she went to the master but was refused entry by his wife. She then leaves a drawing board and her phone number. The quality of his drawings and the originality of the artist’s style prompted Matisse to invite him. She would become his model and his pupil until her death in 1954. In the 1950s, she met Maurice Chevalier, whose portrait she painted and with whom she moved for a while to paint. In 1978, she moved to Saint-Gatien near Honfleur where she found the light of her native Belgium and Holland. The artist will exhibit in Paris at the Salon des Tuileries and at the Salon d'Automne of which she is a member. Numerous private exhibitions were organized on the artist in Paris, New York and Normandy. Several establishments will host his works on a regular basis: Madame Blais's establishment, the famous hotel on the rue Eugene Boudin in Honfleur, the Pinterville castle owned by Princess Marguerite Tran and the Pennedepie farmhouse. His works are on display at the Osaka Museum in Japan and at the famous Pushkin Museum in Moscow, which has the finest collection of Matisse in the world. She entered Bénézit in 1953 with a biography signed by the writer Paul Guth. At that time, she was represented by the Galerie David rue Matignon alongside Bernard Buffet and Jean Carzou.
The expert's commentary and this biography were drawn up by us following our expertise and the various reference books on the artist in our possession, any copying or resumption is therefore prohibited.