The yellow bathrobe

It was only at the very end of the 19th century that Rassenfosse turned to an artistic technique that was new for him: that of oil painting. Worried about the durability of his work, Rassenfosse opted for cardboard as his support and beeswax as the protective finish. The brilliance and instability of traditional varnish were thus avoided in favour of a satin effect that was more in keeping with the intimate and sensual atmosphere of his works in which Woman is omnipresent. He generally marked on the reverse side of his works “This painting has been waxed and must never be varnished”.

Here, a milky white body sits on a brilliant yellow-orange dressing gown and a drape with oriental-inspired motifs provides the background to the painting. Among the white sheets, a forgotten hat confirms the presence in the bedroom of a lover or client. The top hat lends a frankly suggestive character to the scene and pulls us into the world – or rather the demi-monde - of what had become known as “gallantry”.

Material / technique: 
Oil on cardboard
90 x 70 cms
Type of acquisition: 
Donated by Claire de Rassenfosse
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
Armand Rassenfosse Fund