The ‘Portrait de Marguerite’, one of the key works by Belgian Symbolist painter Fernand Khnopff, has a place of honour at the major retrospective of his work at the Petit Palais, Paris, until 17 March 2019.
The ‘Portrait de Marguerite’, one of Fernand Khnopff’s most important works, was repatriated to Belgium thanks to the intervention of the King Baudouin Foundation, which purchased the work in New York in 1991.
Due to its fragility, the painting is rarely exhibited abroad. However, exceptionally it has place of honour in a major retrospective of the works of Fernand Khnopff, currently on show at the Petit Palais in Paris. The exhibition ‘Fernand Khnopff (1858-1921). The master of enigma’ brings together over 150 of his works and provides an emblematic panorama of Khnopff’s singular aesthetic.
The ‘Portrait de Marguerite’ illustrates the painter’s remarkable mastery of portraiture. He painted members of his family, such as his mother, as well as children and occasionally men, but it was his sister Marguerite, with whom he developed a secret complicity, who became his model and muse. With Marguerite, the artist introduced the theme of the mysterious woman into his paintings, a theme that was to become a cornerstone of Khnopff’s portraits.