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Marie Bashkirtseff - The Meeting

by Alexandra Tuschka

In 1884 "the meeting" was exhibited at the Salon. The press and contemporaries were full of praise, and yet one can discern a clear disappointment in the artist's diary entries. She had hoped to receive another separate award with her work. "There is nothing left for me. I am a degraded being, I am finished." The artist, who suffered from tuberculosis, was to succumb to her illness the same year the exhibition was held.

The work she submitted shows a couple of boys on a street corner. They are gathered around an undefined object, which is apparently the reason for their meeting. Because of their poor clothing, the boys identify themselves as working-class children. The surroundings, the wooden fence and the graffiti on it also reinforce this impression.

It cannot be assumed that the artist wanted to address social dimensions with her painting. Rather, she adopted stereotypes and used her work to express childlike and diverse affects.

Marie Bashkirtseff - The Meeting

Oil on canvas, 1884, 19.3 x 17.7 cm, Musée d'Orsay in Paris


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