Virginie DEMONT-BRETON (1859-1935) ✿

Virginie Élodie Marie Thérèse Demont-Breton (1859-1935) was a French painter. Her father Jules Breton and her uncle Émile Breton were both well-known painters.
Through her father she was introduced to other painters- the most influential being Rosa Bonheur who became a role-model and mentor to Virginie. She married the painter Adrien Demont in 1880.
By the age of twenty, she was exhibiting at the Salon where she received an Honorable Mentions and, four years later, she won a Gold Medal at the Amsterdam Exposition.
Demont-Breton exhibited her work at the Palace of Fine Arts, the Children's Building, and The Woman's Building at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.
She was the second woman to be decorated with the Légion d'honneur - the first woman being her mentor Rosa Bonheur- in 1894, and became an Officer in 1914. The previous year, she had been elected to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1913.
Originally, she painted portraits and historical scenes but, after moving to Wissant, switched to painting the fishermen and their families in a Realistic style.
In 1889, Vincent van Gogh painted his own version of one of her works, L’Homme Est en Mer (Her Man is Out to Sea). She also painted scenes of motherhood and children that depict mothers in strong and powerful imagery within nature.

Virginie Demont-Breton by artist Veloso Salgado

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