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Biography of Marce Boutet (Boutet de Monvel) (1851-1913)

Henri Boutet, the son of a jeweler, was born in St. Hermine in 1851. At first he worked almost exclusively in etching and later expanded into lithography and pastels. He found his inspiration in the life of the cafes, the theaters and the busy streets of Paris in the late 19th century.

Boutet first came to public attention with his work for various illustrated magazines, most notably Le Courrier Francais. He is best known for his portrayals of women from the simple shop girl to the sophisticated lady. Boutet aptly captured their common qualities of coquettishness and femininity showing a genuine affection for his subject. He used soft, pastel colors, and a gentle line to create his delicate work often employing soft diffused shading to enhance the subtleness of his work.