The European Art Sale Part I

The European Art Sale Part I

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 219. Jeune fille au géranium .

Virginie Elodie Demont-Breton

Jeune fille au géranium

Auction Closed

January 27, 10:47 PM GMT


6,000 - 8,000 USD

Lot Details


Virginie Elodie Demont-Breton


1859 - 1935

Jeune fille au géranium

signed, inscribed and dated Virginie Breton/ Courrières 6 février 1877 (lower left)

pencil and charcoal on paper

sheet: 25⅜ by 19½ in.; 64.5 by 49.5 cm

framed: 31 by 25¾ in.; 79 by 65.5 cm

Private collection, France, until 2020

Virginie Demont-Breton, daughter of the French painter Jules Breton, was an accomplished painter in her own right and ardent advocate for other women artists. Her artistic career began early, thanks to her father and uncle, Émile Breton, with whom she initially studied. Signed and prominently dated Virginie Breton/ Courrières 6 février 1877 at lower left, this ambitious drawing—realized at the tender age of eighteen—is a carefully rendered and confidently finished study of a young girl with potted geraniums. 

Three years later, in 1880, she married the painter Adrien Demont and exhibited at the Salon, where she received honorable mention. She served as President of the Union of Women Painters and Sculpture from 1895 to 1901 and worked to open the École des Beaux-Arts to female students, a success achieved in 1897. In 1894, she was the second woman—after her mentor, Rosa bonheur—to be decorated with the Légion d'honneur and became an Officier in 1914.