Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Portrait of Henri Barbusse, Georges Courteline

1920, reproduced in the May 1924 edition of "Clarté." Muter was heavily involved in left wing politics throughout the 1920's and contributed many drawings to journals such as Clarté, described as "the French bulletin of the International of thought." Henri Barbusse, the acclaimed French novelist responsible for "Le Feu" which many consider the first fictional account of the First World War, was the driving force behind Clarté. Muter took his portrait on several occasions, and also painted many of the other figures in her and Barbusse's political circle - Romain Rolland, Anatole France, Raymond Lefebvre, Rabindranath Tagore etc.

The 1920's and 30's were the high point of Muter's social and working life. She counted politicians and Nobel Prize winners amongst her circle of friends and struggled to keep up with the demand for portrait commissions. During this period she painted the cream of the European artistic and political community - Arthur Honegger, Georges Clemenceau, Bronislaw Huberman, Romain Rolland, Diego Rivera, Edgar Varese, Georges Courteline - to name a few. The Second World War was just around the corner, however, and the euphoria of the 20's and 30's was soon gone.

"Portrait of Georges Courteline" before 1927.

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