Jean-Baptiste Singry – Joséphine Mainvielle-Fodor (Singer)


1 in stock

A fine sepia wash drawing on Bristol Board, watermarked Whatman 1821, presented in a new mount.

Sheet: 10 1/2 x 8 3/4 in. (26.8 x 22.2 cm.)
Image: 6 5/16 x 5 in. (16 x 12.7 cm.)
Mount: 13 x 11 1/8 in. (33 x 28.3 cm.)


Singry painted Fodor-Mainvielle during her most successful years in Paris (between 1819 and 1822) and exhibited the coloured version of this portrait at the Paris Salon in 1822. It shows the singer as a self-confident personality full of life and energy. There are two known versions of this portrait by Singry. The Tansey Miniature Foundation version is painted in watercolour and gouache on ivory and can be viewed online. The other is in the Museum of Residence, Munich. A copy on porcelain was painted by Marie-Victoire Jaquotot (see Lajoix 2006, p. 127). A lithograph was published by Godefroy Engelmann I.

Joséphine Fodor-Mainvielle (1793-1870), was the daughter of the famous Hungarian violinist and composer Joseph Fodor. She received her first musical training from her father and soon became a successful singer at the Imperial Opera. Her marriage to the Actor Mainvielle made her a French citizen. After periods in Stockholm and Copenhagen, the couple moved to Paris where the singer worked without great success. After several performances at the Fenice in Venice, she returned to Paris and finally reached a breakthrough at the Theatre Italy. Due to health problems, Fodor-Mainvielle travelled to Naples in 1822, where she obtained contracts with the opera house. Her successes in Naples and Vienna enabled her to attempt a comeback in Paris in 1825, but her voice had altered and this led to an embarrassing failure. Despite another period spent in Naples, it did not recover its former quality. She abandoned her singing career in 1833. In 1857 she wrote a book on singing.



Singry, Jean-Baptiste (1782-1824)

Jean-Baptiste Singry (1782 Nancy - 1824 Paris) was a son of the painter Nicolas Singry. In his youth he went to Paris where he became a student of Vincent and Isabey. From the beginning he seems to have specialized in the miniatures although he also exhibited a number of lithographs. He made his Salon debut in 1806 with a self-portrait. He exhibited several miniatures in 1808 and (among others) the portrait of actress Mlle Alexandrine St. Aubin as "Cinderella" in 1810. Singry rapidly formed a clientele amongst the artists and theatre people. In 1812 he exhibited the portraits of Isabey and Mlle Pauline as well as his self-portrait; in 1817 - that of Michelot of the Theatre Francais. He exhibited at the Salon until the year of his death in 1824. Schidlof writes, "few French miniaturists of his period can be compared to Singry. His works, splendid in drawing and execution, have such a truth and force of expression that in some he even surpasses his master Isabey".