Exquisite Paintings Highlight the Simple Joys That Come From Doing Nothing at All

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“Le Temps des Cerises”

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.

French artist Francine Van Hove captures the timeless allure of feminity.

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“Quai des Brumes”

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“Les Petits Plaisirs”

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“The Mega-flora”

Her paintings star beautiful young women in various intimate settings.

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“Plaisirs du Matin”

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“Un Peu de Rouge”

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“La Chaînette”

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“The Three Mirrors”

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“Blandine au Tryptique”

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“La Petite Lampe 1930”

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“Feet in the Clouds”

Romantic Paintings of Women by Francine Van Hove

“The Shadow of the Chairs”

Jean-Marie Oger: Website | Artsy | Facebook | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by  Francine Van Hove & Jean-Marie Oger.

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. When she’s not writing, Margherita continues to develop her creative practice in sequential art.

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