François-Maurice Roganeau (1883-1973) was a French painter. He began his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux and then studied under Jean-Léon Gérôme and Gabriel Ferrier in Paris. For years he exhibited at the Salons of the Société des Artistes Français. In 1929 he was appointed director of the École des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux. He was mainly engaged in landscape and figurative painting.
Description of the painting:
The painting depicts a woman arranging her hair in front of a mirror. The seated figure is shown in profile. Dressed in a loosely draped copper-colored garment, which cascades from her shoulders. The artist captures the texture of the fabric with fine brushstrokes. The woman’s hands are raised, the left twisting her intertwined hair. The other half of her jet-black locks rests on her left shoulder. The woman’s face, as well as the rest of her body, is almost snow-white.
Her features are sharp, her eyes, nose, and mouth are clearly delineated. The mirror in which the woman gazes is situated at the right edge of the painting, only a fragment of the dresser on which it is mounted is visible. The figure is set against a patterned, floral wallpaper or fabric, held in muted shades of green, brown, and gray.
The painting is evocative of the Art Nouveau style. It is based on a limited palette of colors, which are used as contrasting patches of color. The artist uses chiaroscuro, not to set the figure in space, but to capture the subtle play of light on her body and garment. The way the figure is posed and the form of the painting reveal Art Nouveau influences.