Frederick Soulacroix Biography
Soulacroix was born in Montpellier on 6th July, 1825. Soulacroix began his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1845 where he was a pupil of Ramney, Cornelius and Dumont. Soulacroix made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1849.
Soulacroix excelled in painting figurative subjects in the sumptuous interiors of the fashionable salons of Paris. The artist pays particular attention to detail in his paintings, depicting elegant furniture with fine silk and satin fabrics on the dresses and walls. Soulacroix was very popular during his lifetime and continues to be regarded as the master of this genre today.
In this fine example of Soulacroix’s painting the artist has chosen to paint a delightfully seductive model reclining upon a chaise longue in her dressing room. Soulacroix shows off his exceptional technical ability in the treatment of the model’s diaphanous robe and the other luxurious textiles in the room. The painting is daring in its display of the female form and shows Soulacroix’s awareness of the contemporary fashion for Orientalist subjects with erotic overtones. The scene is pure Flaubert, for example, when Soulacroix describes a Parisian beauty: ‘She suddenly grew languid and lay motionless on the divan, with a cushion under her armpit, her body slightly twisted, one knee bent, and the other outstretched.’