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Picturing a World


Given Sonja’s friendship with sculptors, disregard of clothes, and brawn, is it any wonder that I exclaimed “Sonja!” when I ran across this image? I love imagining her sitting on the floor while she’s building her big picture frame for a Salon submission—although she would be in trousers.

The pose fits with others that demonstrate the influence of Bastien-LePage’s Haymakers. What makes this one specially pleasing is its lack of sentimentality.

The Wikipedia article on Hanna Pauli-Hirsch (in Swedish) has images of her, her studio, and her work. She studied in Paris 1885–1887. For a post about Venny Soldan-Brofeldt, click here. These two Scandinavians can be added to my earlier posts on Nordic women artists, Ann Ancher, and Jeanna Bauck and Bertha Wegmann.

As for Polish art students at the Académie Julian, I admit I knew only about Anna Bilińska-Bohdanowicz when I invented Sonja. Since I finished writing, however, a 2012 scholarly article specifically on the broader topic has been published. To read it, click here. For an English translation of a Polish article about Bilińska, click here.
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