Joseph Marius Jean AVY (1871 – 1939 )

Charming portrait of a young woman in the toilet, entitled “The last pin”. An energetic painting with warm colors, treated with transparency and sensuality.

Watercolor gouache on paper mounted on canvas
Signed lower left
Titled on the back on an old label “The last pin”.
Dimensions: 56,5 x 46,5 cm
With frame: 64 x 54 cm

Price: 2300 euros

The woman in the mirror, a feminine ideal

Busy redoing her hair, the young woman looking in a mirror is surprised in her intimacy. The sloping face, the half-closed eyes, the light complexion, the wavy red hair, lightly dressed, so many details that set the feminine ideal. Jean Marius Avy has captured the delicacy and sensuality of the gesture

Warm colors and transparencies

The bright orange of the background echoes the pink cheeks of the young model. As a painter of St. Joseph’s, Marius Avy perfectly masters the transparency and fluidity of watercolor to bring depth and sensuality to his painting.


Joseph-Marius Avy (1871-1939) was a French painter particularly well known during the Belle Epoque. He became known for his large paintings depicting the leisure activities of Parisian high society. The most famous is called the Bal Blanc.

Painter, pastellist, illustrator Student of Maignan and Bonnat, he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes français in Paris from 1900 to 1941 and at the Salon de la Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1934 to 1939.

He received many awards: Prix Marie Bashkirtseff in 1900, second class medal in 1903, diploma of honor in 1937, Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur, and Croix de Guerre. In 1909 he married Germaine, the daughter of Albert Besnard. He assisted his father-in-law in the installation of the paintings decorating the dome of the Petit Palais.
Among his decorations is the wedding hall of the Rotterdam City Hall.
Some of his compositions, such as the White Ball, can be removed with dynamism, painted in highly contrasting color harmonies.


– Benezit, “Joseph Jean Marius Avy”, Oxford Art Online, 2011

– Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Artists, 1910-1930, Edouard-Joseph, Gründ bookstore, Paris, 1934

– Gérald Schurr, Values of tomorrow. Les petits maîtres de la peinture 1820-1920, vol. 4, Paris, Editions de l’Amateur. Paris, 1979, 1120 p.


– Paris, Petit Palais Museum

– Lille, Palais des Beaux-Arts