At the Evening Party: Woman in White with a Fan

Jean-Louis Forain (French, 1852-1931)
Pastel on paper 
21-3/4 x 18 in. (55.2 x 45.7cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View

In this delicate study of a woman buttoning her glove, Forain gives us a glimpse of the cloakroom at the entrance to a fashionable Parisian ball. At left, a woman with her back turned to the viewer has just handed her belongings to an attendant; at right, a gentleman in evening dress lingers near the doorway of the bright room beyond. The protagonist of the picture, however, is the young woman in white, who prepares to enter the party. Light strokes of pastel convey the textures of this figure’s pale feathered fan and tulle skirt, while a denser application of the medium articulates dark garments and shadows. Forain likely took up pastel at the urging of Degas, who invited him to participate in the Impressionist exhibitions during this period.


De Chaumont.
[?Galerie Brâme, Paris, acquired 11 April 1900, sold 11 April 1900 to];
[?Galerie Raphaël] Gérard.
Alfred Beurdeley (sale, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 2-4 June 1920, lot 139, ill., as “En Soirée; femme blonde à l’éventail,” to);
[Galerie Brâme, Paris].
Beurdeley (sale, Paris, Palais D’Orsay, 16 May 1979, lot 120, color ill., as “En Soiree, femme blonde a l’eventail,” to);
[Galerie Cailleux, Paris, buying for];
Norton Simon, by bequest to;
Jennifer Jones Simon Art Trust, to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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