Juliette Lacaze (1898-1977), born in south-east France, moved to Paris in the late 1910s. Immensely beautiful with a strong personality, she worked in a cabaret in Montparnasse where she rubbed shoulders with the artistic avant-garde scene. Perhaps this is where she met Paul Guillaume, the dynamic up and coming art dealer? Madly in love with her, he married her in 1920, nicknamed her Domenica and introduced her to Parisian high society. Marie Laurencin was one of the artists associated with Paul Guillaume and at the time was beginning her career in portrait painting. It is therefore not surprising that Domenica wanted her portrait painted, a symbol of renown and wealth.
Marie Laurencin portrayed her seated, pensive and leaning slightly to one side. Her demeanour, her dress and her pink scarf echo the curtain on the right of the painting. Marie Laurencin included her favourite motifs in the canvas: a large grey dog that resembles a doe, its paws crossed, and a bouquet from which Domenica has picked a flower. The resemblance has been accentuated by the artist, who usually only painted similar and stylised faces. The head of brown hair, the marked line of the eyebrows above the large bright eyes and the shape of the face all indeed belong to Domenica.
Provenance: Paul Guillaumme (1929); Domenica Walter