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Leo Laporte-Blairsy "Femme aux Nénuphars" Lighted Inkwell

The illuminated inkwell titled 'Femme aux Nénuphars' by Leo Laporte-Blairsy portrays a graceful lady donning a waterlily-inspired bonnet, gracefully bending the stem downward toward her feet. This nenuphar bonnet draws its inspiration predominantly from the bonnet styles of the 1830s, a time when women's fashion was primarily concentrated on the upper part of their attire. Above the waist, women sported pleated bodices, generous necklines, voluminous balloon-like sleeves, and intricate hairstyles, all topped with eye-catching bonnets featuring high crowns and dramatic brims. These oversized bonnets were designed to downplay the size of a woman's face, creating a somewhat doll-like appearance. The fusion of the 'femme-fleur' (flower woman) concept with fashion found significant popularity through Walter Crane's work 'Flora's Feast: A Masque of Flowers' in 1889. In this masterpiece, a group of floral beauties adorned dresses and hats made entirely of flowers while they attended the feast of Flora, the Roman Goddess of Flowers. Much of Blairsy's artistic style takes cues from Crane's work, resulting in a unique blend of contemporaneous vintage fashions and the beauty of nature.

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  • Curator's Notes

Item #: S-20961
Artist: Leo Laporte-Blairsy
Country: France
Circa: 1900
Dimensions: 16" high, 13" wide, 9" deep
Materials: Bronze
Signed: Leo Laporte Blairsy; 57757 7
Literature: L'Art décoratif aux expositions des beaux-arts Armand Guérinet éditeur, Paris 1901, (similar model) 68.

The subject manner of French Art Nouveau sculptures follows the same few themes. The femme-fleur or woman as flower dominated as a most popular motif. "Femme aux Nénuphars" is a stunning example of this beloved art form in which women convey the beauty and meanings of flowers.