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'Secret Garden Entrance' by Marie-Anne Nivouliès de Pierrefort (1902)

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'Secret Garden Entrance', oil on canvas (1902) depicting an approach to a secret Mediterranean garden in the South of France. The artist leads the viewer over the narrow path to the walled entrance with a hope of getting a glimpse of what lies on the other side. The garden is so luxuriant one can smell the flora and even perhaps, a whiff of the Mediterranean itself just beyond the wall. Given its age, the painting is in good vintage condition showing some minor cracking and a very small tear only visible on close inspection of the foliage. Signed: 'Marie Nibouliès 1902' (also known as Marie-Anne Nivouliès de Pierrefort (1879 - 1968). Newly framed. A short video clip of this work may be provided upon request.

About the Artist: Although she was a direct descendant of the counts of de Pierrefort, Marie de Nivouliès de Pierrefort's family was very poor. In spite of the poverty, Pierrefort attended a Catholic school run by nuns, obtaining a scholarship from the School of Fine Arts of Paris. While still a student, she attended workshops of great Impressionist masters such as Pierre Auguste Renoir (1841-1919) and Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947). In 1910 she won a travel award from the school and traveled to Tunisia where she painted several Mediterranean landscapes.

In 1938 the painter moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she painted the beautiful landscapes seen from her window. In Rio, Pierrefort had two individual exhibitions, both at the National Museum of Fine Arts, in the years 1946 and 1956. 

Although widowed in 1944, Pierrefort decided not to return to France until 1950. She remained there until 1959 when she definitively returned to Brazil. Her atelier in the neighborhood of Glória was frequented by many emerging artists who learned the techniques of impressionism from her. Afterwards, Pierrefort painted for almost a decade in Brazil until she passed away in 1968 in Rio. After her death, many canvases were found in her studio but had been damaged or destroyed by humidity and by the intervention of her many cats. The painter Sergio Telles, her friend and follower, carefully restored what was left of her work. He then dedicated the book "Marie Nivouliès" in her honour which promoted a posthumous exhibition of the artist in 1977. After the show in Buenos Aires, Sergio Telles promoted a retrospective of Nivouliès' work at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, at MASP, at the Buenos Aires Museum of Art, and at the National Museum of Toulon, France, the artist's birthplace. Almost 20 years after her death, a gallery of art in Rio organized a last great commercial exhibition which was the last opportunity that the public had to acquire her artworks. 

Dimensions (with frame):

H 71 cm

W 56  cm

Dimensions (without frame):

H 60 cm

W 45 cm