Francine van Hove Artist Biography
Based in Paris, Van Hove uses models to create intimate portraits of women. Her subjects are frequently depicted in meditative states such as 'Stretched Arm' and 'The Odalisk'. Born in Saint-Mandé (Seine, France), she studied in Paris and received a Fine Arts degree with qualifications to teach in secondary schools. After teaching one year at Lycée de Jeunes Filles in Strasbourg, she resigned from her position and decided to come back to Paris in 1964 where she now lives and continues to paint.
Francine Van Hove paints the animal grace of young women. The models she employs participate in the research of poses that they must hold for hours: in a safe place, unconscious or unconcerned by their own beauty, young girls let themselves go to laziness or immobile pleasures - reading, having tea, daydreaming or sleeping. Sometimes pensive sometimes melancholic, they forbid us the access to their interiority and the painting stays in a way elusive. Her oeuvre reflects a feeling of incommunicability and a saving loneliness, as a retreat deliberately chosen against the unrest of the world.
Her graphic and pictorial techniques are reminiscent of Greek statuary, Italian Renaissance painters and Flemish painters of the 16th and 17th centuries. Her refined work is a perpetuation of a classical tradition of painting and brings a sensation of wonder with the precision of play of light, the rendering of material and the richness of details. In addition, preparatory drawing sessions enable her to capture the casual gesture as well as its graphic and sculptural qualities. Her work now counts more than 400 paintings, all privately owned, as well as numerous drawings and pastels. "My main theme is, without a doubt, that intimacy and peace which women know when they are alone, when they enjoy such simple pleasures as reading during breakfast, or losing themselves staring into the eyes of a cat, or just sleeping." Francine Van Hove.