Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Renée Perle Redux

My fascination with Renée Perle, Jacques Henri Lartigues most famous muse continues.  She is almost as mysterious as the Mona Lisa, we know very little about her.  She was with Lartigue for two years and she painted, I suspect she was influenced and encouraged by Lartigue and the artistic crowd he ran around with, she probably felt she needed to explore her own artistic capabilities.  These photographs by Lartigue are of Renée in Lartigues studio in Paris with her work.  The paintings are naive and as you can see she had a tendency to paint portraits in her own image, whether this was because she was narcissistic or merely practising with what she new best and felt comfortable with is something we shall probably never know.

I would love to know what happened to her after her break up with Lartigue, the only information that I have managed to unearth is she died in the south of France in 1977.  She must have married as she did have a step daughter who had an oil painting of Renée, all Renées carefully preserved belongings and collections were dispersed by the Paris auction house Tajan in 2000 and 2001.  One thing we do know is that she has been immortalised by Lartigues photographs. Renées image, great personal style and mystique continue to inspire...

Alexi Lubomirski for German Vogue March 2009

Strange to think if Lartigue had not met Renée by chance in Paris in 1930, she would be a forgotten lady, sunk without trace.

To see previous posts on Renée go here


  1. Bonjour Dash-- Should I be ashamed to admit that I did not know Renée until I read this wonderful post? She was so gorgeous, and apparently her life remains a mystery. Very intriguing. Merci beaucoup, this was a perfect introduction to my day! - Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

  2. She is very elegant, as are the photos of the German model. I had not heard of her before, although I have seen many photographs similarly styled, thank you for the introduction x

  3. For some reason I can only see three pix just now - so I'll need to come back and comment properly when the page loads properly onto this machine!

    You're right - I AM mad about the girl - still wearing loads of silver bangles and a statement ring most days. Hellish to get rubber gloves on to do the dishes with....but one has to suffer!

    Are there any on-line records that you could search through, Dash? I'd love to know more about her than we do!

    Ali x

    Are there any

  4. oooh how utterly gorgeous.........have just had hair bobbed after a lengthy bout of being long so will be pulling on the wide legged pants and channeling my inner Renee this winter.........thanks for such inspiration!!

  5. I love a beautiful mystery...she reminds me of Fabienne in the movie Pulp Fiction...

  6. Oh I can't believe that I almost missed this! I was away from the 'ordi' that day as it was Remi's birthday. Dash, do you have a way that I can sign up to automatically receive your new posts by email?

    Renée is one of the most lasting style icons ever. And certainly a woman that has influenced me enormously although I never bothered to dip below the surface as you have. I was so very grateful to have seen that incredibly beautifully curated show at the Pompidou those years back on Lartigue--she loomed large.

    Again and again, so happy to have found a kindred soul, Dash. Namaste.

  7. I, once, saw this young woman and immediatly thought of Renée. I asked her for a photo session :


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