Marcelle Routier (1915 - 2001) was a true Renaissance woman - and a modern one to boot. Born in Paris, she studied art in the 1930s, and according to Beaux-Arts magazine, became secretary of the Free Academy of Painting of Nice by 1935. A silver medal was awarded to her in the same year by the Lorraine Society of Fine Arts for her participation in an exhibition at Saint-Di.
To to earn a living, worked as a journalist for the "Journal de la Femme" from 1936. After the war - during which Marcelle fought in the Resistance - she would work as an editor for Paris Match, Marie Claire and other publications - while at the same time being a literary advisor for Opra Mundi and writing novels and plays!
Marcelle co-wrote the book "Playing for Time" about the Musicians at Auschwitz with Fania Fenelon, a survivor pianist and soprano in the Women's Orchestra of Auschwitz and Bergen Belsen, which was made into a Hollywood film.
She also worked with photographer Robert Doisneau and poet Jacques Prevert on the book "Saint Germain des Prs".
Here, we have Marcelle Routier at her most exuberant with a ballet composition typical of the Art Deco period, which was of course also the period of Serge Lifar's "Ballets Russes".
I discovered a photograph of Lifar dancing with Tamara Toumanova in 1939 which I am showing it with this listing for reference - you will just how well Marcelle Routier seizes the spirit of the Ballet.
Our painting, dating from 1937, also corresponds to the period when Marcelle was preparing a major exhibition at the mythical Galerie de Paris, on the Faubourg Saint-Honor.
The oil on canvas is signed at the lower right and measures 61 x 73 cm. Presented in its simple original frame, the overall size is 66 x 79 cm.
My mini biography of the artist was compiled with the help of Anne Mathieu's scholarly article: Housewives and activists. Women in global action, Women in review, autumn 2020.
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