French artist Francine Van Hove captures the timeless allure of femininity in her paintings of young women in intimate settings. The mysterious maidens bask in Van Hove’s beautifully curated worlds, unconcerned with anything outside of the manicured interiors of their bedrooms or sun-dappled gardens. Their charming languidness follows their every action, as though these women personify the Italian phrase, “il dolce far niente,” or the sweetness in doing nothing.
Based in Paris, France, Van Hove finds inspiration for her sumptuous paintings by working with live models in her studio. She spends considerable time amassing a collection of preparatory drawings of the young women in a variety of graceful poses until she is satisfied with their naturalness. Van Hove admires the silken, sensuous qualities of classical masters from the Northern and Italian Renaissance, and she seeks to bring that same otherworldly elegance into her own paintings. “One should not expect my painting [to] express the anguish inherent in the human condition,” the artist explains on Artsy. “I paint against the angst, as a matter of fact, to help to live in harmony.”
Each of Van Hove’s enticing, pastel-colored paintings offers a glimpse into enviable serenity. In her work, Un Peu de Rouge, a towel-clad woman with peaches-and-cream complexion casually applies red nail polish to her toes as she basks in soft rays of light. Similarly, Plaisirs du Matin features another rosy-skinned model surrounded by an assortment of small pleasures, including a croissant, an orange, and tea.
Van Hove is represented by Jean-Marie Oger, a contemporary art gallery based in Paris. You can view more of Van Hove’s work by visiting their website and keep up to date with her latest exhibitions by following Jean-Marie Oger on Instagram.