Emilie Charmy

Bust of a woman
Oil on canvas board
Signed lower left
Dimensions: 33 x 46cm

Wife of the famous painter George Bouche, she began in Lyon, and, although settled in Saint-Cloud in the Parisian suburbs, she continued to exhibit there throughout her career. Her subjects are varied, she paints nudes, landscapes, seascapes, interiors and still lifes of flowers and fruits. In Paris, she exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants from 1904. She took part in the Salon d’Automne in 1905 and became a member in 1910. The artist is appreciated and rewarded; the state made her a knight and then an officer of the Legion of Honor. She was exhibited at the Barbazanges gallery and at the Styles gallery during her lifetime.

In 1920, it was revealed by the scholars of his time. Colette devotes a few pages to it. She expresses herself on the subject of voluptuousness “Charmy […] masterful servant of feminine flesh […] the brush, subtle, without artifice, is guided by a lucid passion. “. Here, the painting takes up the graceful and spontaneous attitude of the hand of the master who knows the body of women. She tightens her framing, paints the head three-quarters back, represents the chest, depicts the model’s crazy hair, disperses the gaze and the attention of the spectator in shades of pink.

Its life is long, it produces a lot. Émilie Charmy is a painter of all trades and a painter of trades. It has several themes, one is centered around the woman, naked or clothed. She paints with matter, handles pigments and creates density and rhythm, echoing the painter of the Lyon school (Ravier, Carrand, Bouche and Cottavoz).


• Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris. Grenoble Museum.

• Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

• Paul Dini Museum, Villefranche-sur-Saône.


• Emmanuel Bénézit, “Dictionary of painters, sculptors, designers and engravers”, t.3, Gründ Bookstore, reed. 1976, p. 504.

• Madeleine Bunoust, “ Some women painters” , Paris, Librairie Stock, 1936.

• Exhibition catalogue, “A few paintings by Charmy, a few pages by Colette”, Paris, Galerie d’Art Ancien et Moderne, Paris, 1924, 8 pages.