Leaning over her work, Mademoiselle Boissière diligently knits a thin thread of white wool. This little-known painting by Gustave Caillebotte refers to a relative of Adèle Zoé Boissière, the first wife of his father, Martial (1799-1874).
Gustave Caillebotte was only 29 years old when he painted this canvas of great maturity. The large varnished wooden table occupies almost the entire foreground. The wickerwork box is reflected in it. The character, possibly a cousin of Adèle Zoé Boissière, is placed according to the rule of the golden ratio, which gives her a strong presence, despite the fact that she is only focused on her knitting. The predominantly blue wallpaper wall contrasts with the complementary orange color of the table, surrounded by two mismatched chairs.
Martial Caillebotte senior (his fourth son and brother of Gustave will also be called Martial) married Adèle Zoé Boissière in May 1828. He was 29 years old and had just moved to Paris to grow a very profitable cloth business.
Adele is 18 years old. She will give him in 1830 a daughter, Léonie and four years later, a son, Alfred, who will later be a brilliant seminarian and parish priest of Notre-Dame de Lorette. In 1836, Léonie fell ill and died. Adele follows her to the grave four days later. She is 26 years old.
For Martial Caillebotte, the series will unfortunately not stop there. In January 1843, he married Eugénie Lemasquérier, who died a year later giving birth to a little Max, who would not survive.
In 1847, he married his niece, Céleste Daufresne, daughter of Céleste Lemasquérier, sister of Eugénie. Céleste gave him 3 sons: Gustave (1848-1894), René (1851-1876), who died at 25, and Martial (1853-1910). For this marriage, he had to obtain a dispensation from the Holy See.
Gustave used to say: "one dies young, in the family..."
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