Jacques-Emile Blanche

Jacques-Emile Blanche was a French painter and writer. Born in Paris into an affluent family, he spent his life moving in fashionable circles and high society and is best known for his portraits of this milieu. He travelled annually to England from 1884 where he enjoyed considerable commercial success with many noble patrons such as Mrs Saxton Noble and Violet Manners, Duchess of Rutland. Amongst his most famous works are portraits of Marcel Proust (Private Collection, Paris), the poet Pierre Louÿs, the Thaulow family and Aubrey Beardsley (National Portrait Gallery, London).

As a painter he was almost entirely self-taught. His style was similar to and much influenced by John Singer Sargent and Edouard Manet, the latter a close friend, with loose confident brushwork and subdued colouring. He exhibited at the Salon from 1882 to 1889 and at the Societe Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1890.