Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Whatever Happened to Malvina Scheepers?

Sometimes the model is just as intriguing as the painter.  Malvina Scheepers is the woman in this stunning painting by Canadian artist Frederick Simpson Coburn. Painted in 1903, this is one of my favorite paintings in the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Phone shot - pardon the quality

Coburn is a well known Canadian artist and there's no lacuna of information on him. (Thought I'd work in "lacuna" this being a serious post).

Scheepers, an artist herself, was born in Belgium and met Coburn in Antwerp. In 1915 she immigrated to Canada to Coburn's home town of Upper Melbourne, Québec, where they were married, and established a studio.

She died in 1933.
Another portrait of Malvina by Coburn.
I have to say, he certainly knew how to paint his wife.

That's it?  I wanted to know her family background, where she learned to paint, how she left Belgium during WWI. She looks so elegant in the portrait I have to wonder if she liked living in the Eastern Townships or did she die trying to escape?  (I'm kidding I'm kidding - I have roots in the Townships and I'm just saying it's not big city life. Especially in the early 1900's).

So much for research. I guess I'll have to dig a little deeper than Google.

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