Study for Nadege

Born in the French capital in 1942, artist and illustrator Francine Van Hove (born Van Nieuwenhove) completed her studies at the Lycée Claude Bernard in 1963. She had her first taste of public recognition with her first exhibition in 1971.

The expression of beauty and sensuality is the philosophy behind Van Hove's paintings. Francine always paints from life working with models in her studio, depicting young women in day-to-day poses. Inspired by daily life, literature and art, Van Hove cites La Tour, Ingres and Degas and Renaissance painters as her major influences.

The young women in the paintings have porcelain skin that emanates with a translucent radiance, as the light forms an imperceptible shift in relation to reality. Fragile in their nature but strong at the same time, Van Hove's girls invites the audience on a voyeuristic journey as they hang around in domestic environments – reading a book, writing a letter or having a cup of tea in bed – naked. Even in their various states of undress, Van Hove's girls exude an innocent aura. Their sensuality is always subtle and suggestive, rather than an overt display of sex.

Van Hove's precisely painted oils have always been well received since she picked up the paintbrush, and can be found in collections in Europe, America and Japan. In her home town of Paris, she is represented by the prestigious Alain Blondel Gallery.

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