- Félicien Rops
- le paravent
- signed with initials FR lower right
- pastel, black chalk, pencil and watercolour on paper
- 23 by 15.3cm., 9 by 6in.
Purchased from the above by the present owner in 2002
Le Paravent explores the recurring theme of voyeurism in Rops oeuvre. It shows a woman naked bar her shoes and a velvet ribbon in her hair in all her splendour, admiring herself in the mirror, whilst being spied on by a dandy peeping from behind a fashionable japoniste boudoir paravent.
Rops's exploration of voyeurism in works such as Le Paravent is tongue in cheek, as any viewer of these compositions is himself put into the position of a voyeur by the artist. Similar to a game of Chinese boxes, where you open a box in which you find a smaller box, which in turn contains another box, the act of seeing and the voyeurism in Le Paravent is multi-fold. This is underlined by the fact that Rops's women are not nude but naked. Rops used articles of clothing on near nude models to give them a special character. By showing them in a state of undress, Rops reveals his models' nudity, which heightens the eroticism of his works. He delighted in the contrast of textures and enjoyed breaking the line of the body. By so doing he concentrated attention on the display of flesh and seems to be continually surprising his models in moments of privacy.