FRANCE, C.1930

69 X 49 INCHES

Mariette Lydis


Lydis was an Austrian-Agentine painter. Lydis was born in Vienna, Austria on August 24, 1887, under the name Marietta Ronsperger. She was the daughter of Franz Ronsperger and Eugenia Fischer and the sister of Richard and Edith Ronsperger, creator of Opera books.

Mariette first married Julius Koloman Pachoffer-Karñy in 1910. She eventually divorced Julius and married Jean Lydis in 1918 to whom she remained married until 1925. Lydis lived openly as bisexual She is best known for her book illustrations and paintings. Mariette died on April 26, 1970, and rests in the Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires.

Mariette Lydis started her art career as a young self-taught artist who got her start in the art world after traveling to France with Bontempelli in 1925, where she entered the art circles of Paris.

Soon she developed a reputation as a talented painter and illustrator. Her first recorded illustration was that of The Cloak of Dreams Bela Balateze. Additionally, Lydis illustrated Le Petit Jésus by Joseph Delteil.

Later she became a member of the Salon d’Autonne and held a solo exhibit at the Galerie Bernheim” and continued to illustrate books by many authors including Henry de Monthenerlant,Paul Valery, Pierre Louye, Paul Verlaine, and Jules Supervielle.

These works cemented her as an up-and-coming avant-garde artist and gave her name recognition for her future works.

During World War II, Mariette Lydis fled Paris and, unable to exhibit her work, had a gap period where she prepared an exhibit intended to be held in Buenos Aires. She ended up staying i, Buenas Aires for the majority of the 1940s, working with her then-husband Giuseppe Govone to publish some of her works, including Le Trefle a Quatre Feuilles: Ou La Clef Du Bonheur.

In 1948 Mariette returned to France and worked under many French publishers and illustrated works for Guy de Moupassent, Colette, Beardeliare, Rimbaud, Bella Moerel and Henry James. Lydis eventually returned to Buenos Aires due to the political tension of the Cold War and continued to publish art their until her death on April 26, 1970.

During her career she had two prominent artist phases, her first being a darker sadder period where she concentrated on portraying poor people, the old men, the dispossessed, the criminals, and the sick. Later on in her life, her work became brighter and she began drawing and painting more women, adolescents, and young children's. Throughout her career she was influenced by the Japanese artist Foujita.

Along with her illustrations, Lydis was known for her lithographic depictions celebrating lesbian and bisexual relationships. She illustrated women in the active-passive heterosexual relationship stereotype by portraying one woman with slightly masculine-looking features.

Critics of her work in this style often described the illustrations as "perverse" and compared her work to Tamare de Lempicka, a female Polish painter. Joseph Deltell was one of these frequent critics.

Today, her works are displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Fogg Museum at Harvard University, and Davidson Galleries in Seattle, Washington.