After an academic formation, Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer started his career as a lithographer and ornementalist for a ceramics factory in Golfe-Juan.
In the early years of the 1890s, he was close to Carlos Schwabe, Alphonse Osbert and Alexandre Séon. During this period, Lévy-Dhurmer developed a delicate style, mainly focused on one medium: the pastel. Like Odilon Redon, he exploits the pastel's quality in numerous works, choosing his subjects in the mysterious and esoteric iconography of symbolism.
In this work, a veiled woman's profile appears against a full moon in the background. Around her, floating in space, a whirling constellation of golden stars seems to escort her daydreaming. Could it be a personification of The Night? Dated 1892, this pastel, heightened with gold, has kept all of its freshness and all of its evocative force. It can be compared to other similar works and is very close to an Ophelia that has the same square format, and the same blue shades heightened with delicate gold strokes (sale Christie's Paris, September 19th, 2017, lot 67, sold for 343.500 euros; ill. 1).
Lévy-Dhurmer (who still only signs with the name of his father "Lévy"), has dedicated the work to a certain "Madame Tassy" on the lower right.
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