FRANCE, C.1895

18 X 10.5 INCHES


Maximilienne Guyon was born in Paris on May 24, 1868. Her parents were artists.  As a young woman, she attended the Academie Julien, having as teachers Robert Fleury, Jules Lefebvre and Gustave Boulanger.  In 1887, at the age of twenty, she made her debut at the Salon de Paris with the painting Mlle Jeanne G. , a portrait of her sister, who was also a painter. At the Salon of the following year she presented two works on canvas, Portrait de Femme and The Violinist, for which she received a third-class medal.

Until 1903, the year of her death, her works were consistently found in all the Salon exhibitions, both in the painting and in the watercolor and drawing sections. In 1890 she obtained an "honorable mention" and a silver medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris.
In the catalogues illustrè du Salon of 1891, 1892 and 1893, she, having married, was listed with the name "Goepp-Guyon". In the following years she was registered as Mlle or Mme Guyon. Probably she had lost early her husband. From 1892 to 1899 her address was 9 rue Alphonse de Neuville. From 1900 she lived in Neuilly-sur Seine, boulevard Bineau, 82.
In 1892 she exhibited six works ( three portraits) at the "Exposition des arts de la femme" at the Palais de l'Industrie in Paris. In 1893 she participated in the World Columbian Exhibition of Chicago with the work Music, exhibited in the women's building.  
In 1894, with Un rôdeur, oil on canvas 100 x 80 cm, presented at the Salon, she gained a Bourse de voyage of 4,000 francs, (first to a woman) which allowed her to make a trip of some months to Italy. The same work was exhibited at the Salon de Lyon one year later. 

Maximilienne Guyon became a member of the Societe des Artistes Francais and hors concours at 28 years. She was also member of the Societe des Aquarelistes Francais and of the Societe des Prix du Salon et Boursiers de Voyage. She participated with hors concours in the Salon in Paris as well as in Lyon, Versailles, Ruen.
In 1897 she presented a self portrait at the Salon and works at the "Esposition annuelle des Aquarellist". In this occasion, she was given the task of welcoming the president Felix Faure and his daughter with a bouquet of flowers when they came to visit the exhibition. This was reported in La Press, Paris, 4 Mai 1897. In the same year, she participated in the International Exhibition in Brussels.  
In the last years of her life the artist was a successful portrait painter. She got the bronze medal at the Universal Exhibition of Paris in 1900 with the portrait La Toilette. She also received a silver medal in Amiens. In 1903 she obtained the gold medal at the Exposition of Blak and White in Paris. In the same year she presented a large portrait of Mme d'Hauterive (Jeannine Dumas) at the Salon de la Societè des Aquarellistes Francais and two works at the first Salon d'Automne: Nature Morte and A l'eglise.
Maximilienne Guyon was a much esteemed art teacher and had Princess Mathilde of Saxony among her pupils.  She was also an illustrator. Among others she illustrated works by Balzac, Enault and Theuriet.
Conversations with the artist on the feminism and the difficulties of women in the art world were reported by Gabrielle Reval on the newspaper Femina of May 1, 1903, and on the book L'avenir de nos filles. Edition illustree de portraits des principales personnalites feminines". The article on "Femina" includes a photograph of the artist while she paints the portrait of Madame d'Hauterive Dumas. The interview reported in the book was made at the "maisonette" of the artist in Sauzon. From the text it is understood that the artist had a child."
Maximilienne Guyon died in Neuilly-sur Seine in the first days of December 1903. The cause of her death is unknown. A necrology appeared in La Chronique des Arts et de la Curiositè, supplement a la Gazette des Beaux-Arts on January 10, 1904. A judicial auction was held at the home of the artist on January 10-11, 1904, where works, furniture and objects present in the atelier were sold. The auction catalog contained a list of 48 canvas paintings, 62 watercolors, 15 drawings and pastels, and reported a photograph of the artist and images of two her works: The rôdeur and The Ribandelle, a watercolour.
Works by Maximilienne Guyon in museum collections:
- "Jeune femme accoudee" - Musee de la Roche-sur-Yon, France
-  "Portrait de Mme d'Hauterive" - Musee Alexandre Dumas, Villers-Cotterets, France
Sources :
1. Archive du Salon des Artistes Francais
2. Catalogues illustrè du Salon (Societè des artistes francais), 1887 - 1903
3. Academie Julian, web site
4. Catalogue des tableaux, aquarelles, pastels, dessins objets d'art et d'ameublement garnissant l'atelier de   feue Maximilienne Guyon, 1904
5. G. Reval. L'avenir de nos Filles. Edition illustree de portraits des principales personnalites feminines"; pp. 71-82 ; A. Hatier, Paris,1904 (?)
6. P. Vibert. Silhouettes contemporaines. Le hommes de mon temps ; pp.118-121: Berger-Levrault et Cie Editeurs, Paris-Nancy, 1900
7. La Press, Paris, 4 Mai 1897
8. La Chronique des arts et de la curiositè, Necrologie ; Paris, 1903
9. Le Passe-Temps et le Parterre Reunis; Lyon, 21 Avril 1895
10. G. Reval, Femina, n. 35, p.520-521, 1903
11. World's Columbian Exposition 1893, Official Catalogue, Part XIV, Woman's Building
12. Catalogue du Salon d'Automn, 1903