Jane Poupelet (1874-1932)

Jane Poupelet first studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Bordeaux while following the anatomy courses in medical school. She then briefly studied in 1896 at the Académie Jullian in Paris, but she was displeased with its methods. In 1900, she met Lucien Schnegg: she thus became part of the bande à Schnegg, and the only woman of the group. She liked working in the country and her art, characterized by a very intimist tone, focused on animals. The National Society of Fine Arts offered her a grant after seeing her work displayed at the Salon: she spent the money she thus received on a trip to the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea in 1904. That same year, she took part in the first exhibition of the bande à Schnegg which was entitled Some and included works by Schnegg, Dejean, Halou, Marque and Niederhausern-Rodo.

Poupelet’s most celebrated works were the 1906 Ass’ Foal, The Cow, the 1908 Woman at Bath Time -which entered the Luxembourg Museum collections in 1910-, the Armless Seated Woman, The Begging… Rodin rented his former practitioner’s works in order to set up a conjoint exhibition of his work and Poupelet’s in the George Petit Gallery in 1911. She moreover participated in numerous exhibitions along with Arnold, Bourdelle, Brancusi, Despiau, Derain, Dunoyer de Segonzac, Gimond, Gromaire, Giacometti, Maillol, Malfray, Matisse, Modigliani, Pompon, Pascin, Wlérick… and with great 19th Century artists: Barye, Carpeaux, Daumier, Degas, Gauguin, Géricault, Jongkind, Morisot or Renoir. Colette (1927) or Claude Roger Marx (1928) wrote forewords to her exhibitions. She also displayed her work in Prague and Vienna, and had the occasion to show it in the United States.

In 1922, Jane Poupelet, in an ill health, had to gradually give up sculpture. She died in 1932, at the age of fifty-four. A retrospective of Jane Poupelet’s oeuvre was held in 2005-2006 at La Piscine Museum of Art and Industry in Roubaix and is planned to travel to the Bordeaux and Mont-de-Marsan Museums.