Italian Woman

Italian Woman

"As far as Miss Segatori is concerned, that’s another matter altogether, I still feel affection for her and I hope she still feels some for me. But now she's in an awkward position, she’s neither free nor mistress in her own house, and most of all, she’s sick and ill. Although I wouldn’t say so in public — I’m personally convinced she’s had an abortion (unless of course she had a miscarriage) — whatever the case, in her situation I wouldn’t blame her. In two months she’ll be better, I hope, and then perhaps she’ll be grateful that I didn’t bother her. Mind you, if she were to refuse in good health and in cold blood to give me back what’s mine, or did me any kind of harm, I wouldn’t be easy on her — but that won’t be necessary. But I know her well enough still to trust her. And there again, if she manages to keep her place going, from the commercial point of view I wouldn’t blame her for preferring to be the one who eats and not the one who gets eaten. If she stepped on my toes a bit in order to succeed — if need be — she has carte blanche. When I saw her again she didn’t hurt my feelings, which she would have done if she was as nasty as people say she is." Vincent to Theo @ July 24, 1887
Details:
Painting Date
15th of December 1887
Detailed Image Links
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“As far as Miss Segatori is concerned, that’s another matter altogether, I still feel affection for her and I hope she still feels some for me. But now she’s in an awkward position, she’s neither free nor mistress in her own house, and most of all, she’s sick and ill. Although I wouldn’t say so in public — I’m personally convinced she’s had an abortion (unless of course she had a miscarriage) — whatever the case, in her situation I wouldn’t blame her.  In two months she’ll be better, I hope, and then perhaps she’ll be grateful that I didn’t bother her. Mind you, if she were to refuse in good health and in cold blood to give me back what’s mine, or did me any kind of harm, I wouldn’t be easy on her — but that won’t be necessary.  But I know her well enough still to trust her.  And there again, if she manages to keep her place going, from the commercial point of view I wouldn’t blame her for preferring to be the one who eats and not the one who gets eaten. If she stepped on my toes a bit in order to succeed — if need be — she has carte blanche.  When I saw her again she didn’t hurt my feelings, which she would have done if she was as nasty as people say she is.”  Vincent to Theo @ July 24, 1887

“For my part, I still continually have the most impossible and highly unsuitable love affairs from which, as a rule, I emerge only with shame and disgrace.” Vincent to sister Wil, late October, 1887.

Agostina Segatori, owner of the Cafe Tambourin and Vincent’s lover and supporter for a time in the Spring of 1887.  Vincent painted two portraits of her and many still lifes of flowers for her which she displayed on the walls of her cafe.

The painting, according to the Musee D’ Orsay: Several elements are reminiscent of Japanese prints: the asymmetrical border, the stylisation of the character in a portrait with neither shadows nor perspective, the monochrome background… But instead of the refined touch of Eastern aesthetics Van Gogh employs an energetic treatment, which results in an impression of almost primitive might.
The Neo-impressionists juxtaposed complementary colours in order to achieve intensity. Here, Van Gogh did likewise, associating reds with greens and blues with oranges but instead of the pointillist brush-stroke characteristic of Seurat and Signac, he uses a criss-cross of overlapping nervous hatching. The colours are violent, expressive, revealing Van Gogh to be a precursor of Fauvism.
Agostina Segatori’s face, in which red and green prevail, is an incarnation of the artist’s objective, verbalised a year later in Arles about “The Night Cafe”: “to be able to express the terrible passions of humanity by means of red and green”.

Agostina Segatori was born in the Italian city of Ancona. In 1860 she posed for Manet and in 1873 for Jean-Baptiste Corot. Little is known of her life until she met the Parisian painter Edward Dantan in 1873, with whom she lived in a stormy relationship until 1884. Agostina Segatori had a child by Dantan, Jean-Pierre Segatori.[1] In 1874, she was depicted by Edward Dantan in the first work that he exhibited at the Salon, a wax medallion. During the summers of 1874, 1875 and 1877, Agostina Segatori posed many times for Dantan. In 1884, Edward Dantan described his former mistress by the name of “Madame Segatori-Morière”: it seems that Agostina Segatori had married a Mr. Morière. His son Jean-Pierre is also called Morière, so he may have been recognized or adopted by her husband.

Agostina Segatori is not only known for being the mistress of Edward Dantan, she was the proprietress of the Café Tambourin, at 62 Boulevard de Clichy in Paris. Agostina Segatori became famous for her relationship in the spring of 1887 with Vincent van Gogh, who lived in Paris from 1886 until 1888. We have little information on this relationship as Vincent van Gogh lived at the time with his brother, and we have very little of his correspondence from this period. However Agostina Segatori was cited in two letters by the painter.[2]

Information on the relationship was related by one of the closest friends of Vincent van Gogh, the painter Émile Bernard in an article he wrote on Pere Tanguy, an important Parisian character in the 19th century.[3] It seems that Vincent van Gogh and Agostina Segatori were very fond of each other, and she inspired the painter, who made two portraits of her and several nudes in oil. Agostina Segatori gave Vincent van Gogh’s first exhibition at her Café Tambourin. Their relationship quickly became stormy and they decided by mutual agreement to separate in July 1887. After this separation, Agostina Segatori improperly retained works by Van Gogh in her Café.

Agostina Segatori died in Paris in 1910 after experiencing a number of setbacks including the loss of her Café.[4]

Segatori’s Café du Tambourin was originally located at 27 rue de Richelieu in Paris, before reopening at 62 Boulevard de Clichy; Jules Chéret made a poster for the Cabaret at the reopening.[5] The decor included works offered to her by Edward Dantan, but also featured those by Vincent van Gogh. In 1887, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec created a portrait of Vincent van Gogh at the Café.

Representations of Segatori in French art of the nineteenth century

Agostina was a famous model. In 1860, she posed for Manet, who painted her portrait known as The Italian. This work, now held in a private collection in New York, was sold by the merchant Alphonse Portier to Alexander Cassatt, brother of Mary Cassatt. She then posed twice for the painter Jean-Baptiste Corot. The first work is called The Picture of Agostina and the second the Bacchante with tambourines. She was also painted by Jean-Léon Gérôme. Vincent van Gogh created two portraits of Agostina Segatori, one named The woman with the tambourine and the other the Italian.

December, 1887 Painting, Oil on Canvas Paris: December, 1887 Musee d’Orsay Paris, France, Europe F: 381, JH: 1355

Where Vincent Was:
Paris

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