This is the portrait of George Feydeau (1862-1921) as an 8-year old boy about 1870. The painting is known as L'enfant a la cravate blue'--the child with the blue scarf. Perhaps better translated as 'The boy with the blue boy'. We know nothing about George's childhood except he was raised in a privlidged, artistically oriented bourgeois family. A Polish mother would have provided him a skomewhat different outlook tahn many French children at the time.
George wears a black velvet cap and outfit and pointed white collar. It is not an Eton collar, but similar. He has a bright blue bow to add a little color. It is a small-sized bow which was still common in the 1870s. We can't make out much about the suit he is wearing. A French reader tells us that the clothes is a popular style for Frebnch boys at the time and even older boys dressed like this.
Most notable in the portrait is George's long hair. As was common in France, it is uncurled. Ringlets were more common in America and Britain.
George's father Ernest Duran was a prominent author. He wrote Fanny. His mother was Léocadie Bogaslawa Zalewska. We know nothing about her, but the names sees Polish. Poland at the tome was a cause celebre among French artistic circles.
Ernest Feydeay and Duran moved in the same artistic Parisian circles. And of course as aucessful novelist could afford to pay a noted artist to paint his son. We do not know the family dynamics, but the two families apparently became close and George and Duran's daughter Marie-Anne becanme close.
George himself following in his father's footsteps became a leading French Playwright. He and Marie-Anne married (1889).
Both families not only socialized in artistic circles, but were very well to do. Feydeau's plays were noted for comical farce. He developed a propensity for the high life. He had a table permanently reserved for him at Maxim's. He also lost large sums gambling. This and the failure of his marriage led to financial difficulties.
The couple separated and he moved into the Hôtel Terminus, where he lived for 10 years (1909).
Marie-Anne eventually divorced him (1917). He contracted syphilis which caused him to go mad. He died (1921).
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