Jenny Montigny

(1875-1937)

Maternity

Circa 1928
Oil on canvas
58.5 x 59.5 cm
Framed: 78.5 x 79.5 cm
Signed lower right: J Montigny

Signed lower right: J Montigny

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Literature
- Blondeel, K., "Vrouwlijke schilders in Gent," unpublished master proof (Gent: UGent, 2003).
- Boyens, P., Sint-Martens-Latem. Kunstenaarsdorp in Vlaanderen (Tielt/Sint-Martens-Latem: Lannoo/Art Book Company, 1992), 59-61.
- De Smet, J., Sint-Martens-Latem. En de kunst van 1870-1970 (Tielt/Sint-Martens-Latem: Lannoo/Art Book Company, 2000), p. 87, 344.
- De Smet, R., "Jenny Montigny," in: Gand Artistique (maart 1927).
- D'Haese, J., R. Lingier, L. Steel e.a., Jenny Montigny (1875-1937), exh. cat. (Deurle: Museum Leon De Smet, 1987) 4-8.
- Eeckels, C., Lenteweelde (4 mei 1930).
- Henau, V., "Moederlijke impressies," unpublished master proof (Gent: UGent: 2012-13).
- Lemal-Mengeot, C., C. Aliboni, C. Ricota, Jenny Montigny 1875-1937: Lumières impressionnistes, tent.cat. (Charleroi: Musée des Beaux-Arts/Hôtel de Ville, 1997).
- Pauwels, P. & V. Van Doorne, Leie. Rimpeloze eenvoud, exh. cat. (Deinze: MuDeL, 2010), 18-19.
- Pauwels, P., Als een fonkelenden spiegel (Sint-Martens-Latem: Galerie Oscar De Vos, 2019).
- Van Doorne, V., J. D'Haese, F. Maere, Anna De Weert, Jenny Montigny, Yvonne Serruys (Deinze: MuDeL, 1988) 25-44.
- Wibo, M.-H., "Jenny Montigny (Gand 1875-1937)," unpublished master proof (Louvain-La Neuve: 1989-90).
Description
Jenny Montigny had a strong bond with Emile Claus, the master of luminism. It was initially thanks to and later alongside him that she developed into an independent personality on the artistic scene of the early twentieth century. Montigny came from Ghent's bourgeoisie and led a protected life until she decided at the age of seventeen to devote herself to painting. Despite the many oppositions and her total lack of artistic experience, she joined Emile Claus and his Luminist School in 1895. Claus taught her a great sense of space, movement and light, as well as his love of nature and his preference for pleinaryism. Montigny's relationship with the 26 years older and married Claus was both educational and affective and played a dominant role in the life and work of the artist. From the turn of the century, however, Montigny developed into an independent artist with her own theme, brushwork and use of color. In 1904 she settled permanently in Deurle and that same year she became a member of the luminist art circle Vie et Lumière. Once she had mastered Iuminism, she used the technique to capture movement on paper or canvas with soft and contrasting colors. Montigny painted still lifes, landscapes, interior views and especially scenes with human figures. Mother Joy is a good example of the way in which she managed to affect daily life. In contrast to Claus' social realism, silk emphasized anecdotal charm of peasant life. The same idea can also be found in The Playground in Deurle in the spring, a work that takes its own place in the oeuvre of the artist. Apart from the scenes from Hyde Park - dating from the war years - and the numerous portraits of Claus, there are hardly any male figures in her work. She mainly focused on snapshots of everyday scenes around motherhood or with children playing. At the playground of the school in Deurle, she regularly studied children playing and recorded their actions in a spontaneous and harmonious way on canvases imbued with the local atmosphere (The playground in Deurle in the spring). Like Claus, she experimented with the representation of chromatic variations during the different seasons by painting the same subject several times a year.

Jenny Montigny remained unmarried and childless. She devoted her entire life to her master and their common passion, painting. In addition to her artistic qualities and her originality, it was also thanks to her warm, vibrant personality and her human qualities that she acquired a place in the intellectual and artistic world of her time. (Van der Stighelen & West, 1999)
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