1874 - 1907
Georges Bottini was the son of a Parisian hairdresser. He trained in Cormon’s studio, and at the same time was employed by Gardi, restoring paintings, which gave him the opportunity to study the techniques of the Old Masters. He suffered with mental illness from a very young age and died in an asylum in Villejuif when he was 31. He also designed posters and produced illustrations to advertise sporting events. His numerous illustrations for Jean Lorrain’s book La Maison Philibert brought him to the attention of the general public. He also illustrated books by Gustave Coquiot and Félicien Champsaur.
His work is similar to that of Toulouse-Lautrec, who was probably an influence, as were Steinlen and then Galanis. It is likely that he also drew inspiration further back in art history, from Constantin Guys, and used his knowledge of Guys’ work to make his own personal observation of fin de siécle customs and life-style in Montmartre. He found his subjects at the Moulin de la Galette, the Bal Tabarin, the English bars in the Avenue Trudaine and in brothels.
When he first exhibited his work in 1899 Bottini was hailed as a master by Gustave Geffroy. Bottini regularly participated in events and exhibitions at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, and at the Paris Salon from 1897 to 1906. The paintings he sent were always accompanied by small-scale watercolours of Montmartre or horseracing scenes.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Paris (MAMVP): Woman with a Parrot (1905); Self-portrait; Portrait of a Woman; Four Women at the Bar; Woman Crouching with a Fan; The Woman and the Sailor; Dancer