Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowiczowa (1857-1893) studied at the Warsaw Conservatory and then at the Women’s Painters Division at Wojciech Gerson’s. After completing her education in Warsaw, she took a trip around Europe, stopping in Paris, where she started studying at the Académie Julian under the direction of Joseph-Nicolas and Tony Robert-Fleury. In 1886, she was appointed head of the painting studio there. She also attended Luc-Olivier Merson’s studio. For many years she regularly exhibited her works at home and abroad. In her work she dealt with portrait painting, genre, landscape and still life.*
Description of the painting:
The artist portrayed a young woman in en trois quatre. The model is shown against a golden, draped fabric in the upper part. The figure is illuminated by strong light falling on it from the front. It emerges from the dark, blurred background, becoming almost a bust. She is dressed in a black blouse with ruffles, on whose folds reflections of falling light can be seen, making the fabric shine. Around the throat of the woman is a scarf of transparent material, through which the skin of the décolleté is visible. At the binding point, dark blue brush strokes can be seen, which may form an outline of an ornament. Through the strong light-shade, the woman’s face is clearly visible. The observer’s eye is attracted by the emphasized full lips, which, like the nose, appear almost three-dimensional. Dark, large eyes are looking at the left edge of the painting. The jet-black hair shimmering in the light is tied up in a bun, with individual strands of curls cascading down the forehead. The artist accurately reproduced the reflections falling on the model, making the composition a study of light.