Jane Poupelet: neoclassical nudes, female audience, and double-sided language
Dr Claudine Mitchell
Central to the work of Jane Poupelet (1874–1932) was the concept of woman’s autonomy. The principle of her practice, elaborated around 1910, consists in a double-sided language incorporated within formalist aesthetics. It opened a cultural space where the relations between the intellectual and the corporeal within the subjectivity of women could begin to be re-inscribed in language, through aesthetic representation.
In Spring 1918, the American sculptor Anna Ladd and Jane Poupelet opened, in Paris, the Studio for Portrait Masks where they crafted prostheses for soldiers who had suffered severe facial injury. The second part of my talk considers the sculptures of the 1920s, interweaving memories of experiences lived during the Great War with a reflection on the position of women and the politics of national reconstruction.
Claudine Mitchell, BA, PhD, LèsL, is Honorary Fellow at the University of Leeds. Her research has followed two main paths. One concerns the relations between the visual arts, language, and History as in her book Rodin: The Zola of Sculpture (Ashgate, 2004). The other deals with the position of women cultural producers. Her publications on women sculptors include: ‘Intellectuality and sexuality: Camille Claudel, the fin de siècle sculptress’, Art History, 1989; ‘Facing horror: women’s work, sculptural practice and the Great War’, in Work and the Image (Ashgate, 2000); ‘Style/Ecriture. On the Classical Ethos, Women’s Sculptural Practice and Pre-First World War feminism’, Art History, 2002 ; ‘Sur la notion de « femme sculpteur » : les phénomènes de la connaissance et les ombres de l’Histoire’, in Sculpture’ Elles, Somogy, 2011.