Collection Online

Idyll - Woman with a flute
(Idylle - Femme à la flûte)

oil on canvas
118.5 × 92.6 cm
inscribed in brown paint l.c.r.: J J. HENNER / 1874
Accession Number
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1933
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
Gallery location
19th Century European Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International

Exhibited Salon, Paris, 1874, no. 1032; purchased from the artist by M. Duchene, Paris, c. 1874, from whom acquired by Henry Wallis, of the French Gallery (dealer), London, c.  1875–84, until 1932; from where purchased, on the advice of Randall Davies, for the Felton Bequest, 1932; arrived Melbourne, 1933.

Exhibited Salon, Paris, 1874, no. 1032.

Highly poetic and melancholy of disposition, Jean-Jacques Henner principally painted mythological escapes into a nostalgic past, and deeply disturbing religious images of penitence and death. Henner’s bucolic allegories, such as this one, had their roots in the artist’s deep love of classical literature. Henner cared little for complicated pretexts of subject. His paintings stood out for their minimalist approach – depicting only one or two figures, often posed in ambiguous penumbral settings.