L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Les Dames en jaune

The Yellow Dress, by Gustave Jacquet, circa 1896.

Yellow is my least favorite color. Yes, it almost certainly is. And what a silly thing that is to say! An artist, of all people, saying that one color or another is his favorite or least favorite. Very silly. Yet I have no qualms about saying that yellow is the most important color. Because I don't doubt that at all. Though there's almost never anything in my paintings that you would describe as yellow, I use that color in my work far more than any other. And if I understood anything about color theory, I could probably tell you why that is. I'm guessing it's got something to do with light. Uh... the way light reflects? Or... OK, I have no idea as to why I use so much yellow. I just know that I do. And here are some paintings of ladies by artists who've also used a lot of yellow in their work and who are not afraid to let you know it.

Lady in Yellow, by Susan Watkins, 1902.
Lady in Yellow, by Giovanni Boldini, 1912.
William II, Prince of Orange, and his wife Mary Stuart, by Gerrit van Honthorst, 1647.
Pauline in the Yellow Dress [the artist's wife], by Sir James Gunn, 1944.
À la toilette, by Gustave Léonard de Jonghe, circa 1880.
Emily Warren Roebling, by Carolus-Duran, 1896.
Countess Elizaveta Alexandrovna Demidova, née Stroganova, by Robert Lefèvre, circa 1800-1805.
Lady in Yellow, by Thomas Wilmer Dewing, 1888.
Lady at a Piano, by Vincent Dinty 1793.
Simone Gentile in a Yellow Gown, Serge Ivanoff, 1954.
In the Country, by Alfred Stevens, 1867.
Grand Duchess Vladimir (Maria Pavlovna), by François Flameng, 1898.
Princesse de Broglie, by James Tissot, circa 1895.
Lady in a Yellow Dress, Max Kurzweil, 1899.


  1. Great post! Yellow is not my favorite either but these images are enthralling, esp. the last two with those vibrating greens. I was also struck by the first picture because her clothing is from at least 100 years earlier. And I want her embroidered muff.

    1. Yes, good call about that first image. A bit of historicism there; her toilette is in the style of the mid eighteenth century; nineteenth century artists weren't at all afraid of historicism. Oh, and you'll have to fight me for that muff! ; )

  2. great examples! I actually love yellow but it's a tricky color -especially as I know it's the most popular 'least favorite color'. For me it's Mauve....even the name makes me gag. just...hate....it

    1. I'm totally with you about mauve! With its fin de siècle connections, it would seem to be something I'd like, but... blech. The bathroom in our new/old house was actually painted mauve when we bought it; THAT has been remedied! : )