Blanche, Jacques-Emile

Paris 1861 - Offranville 1942
Biography & List of works

Wanda Zielinska, called La Pouponne

Wanda Zielinska, called La Pouponne

Medium: Oil on canvas

Size: 130.5 x 66 cm

Signed: Lower right: J.E. Blanche 92


M. Perie, Bordeaux; Raymond Belly, Bordeaux; private collection.


To be included in the catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre de Jacques-Émile Blanche in preparation by Jane Roberts; Roberts, J., Jacques Emile Blanche, 2012 – shows three other portraits of the same sitter, p. 70-71.

The first of several paintings of the young Wanda Zielinska, called La Pouponne, by Blanche who, like Desirée Manfred and Lucie Esnault he also painted as children, and in the latter cases followed into their teenage and even adult years. Other paintings of Wanda can be seen in the Musée des Beaux Arts, Caen, and the Musée Blanche at Offranville as well as two private collections. Here Wanda, aged six or seven years old, is fashionably dressed for a special occasion in her white dress and extravagant hat. She holds a small white basket, her fingers only just exposed as they extend from her white muslin gloves. The painting is a symphony of whites, contrasted against the sketchily painted garden setting, while her face and the hat ribbon that tumbles into her lap are in delicate shades of pink.  It is dated 1892, a time when clothes were designed to preserve modesty rather than for comfort and the young girl is perhaps a little bored as well as uncomfortable, while she waits to be released from the sitting. Wanda grew up to be a talented violinist and cellist, often accompanying her sister, Hélène, renowned for her performances on the chromatic harp.