Fauvism Feminism Flamboyance
10 February – 19 May 2024

On February 10, 2024, Millesgården Museum opens the exhibition about Jacqueline Marval (1866-1932). Here the visitor gets an opportunity to discover a multifaceted and fascinating artistry from the early 20th century. An artistry few are aware of - but which is part of the context where giants such as Matisse, Derain, Picasso and Denis have long had their place. Marval and her work were present in Paris when art history was written, when Picasso exhibited his Demoiselles d'Avignon and when the concept of Fauvism arose.

Jacqueline Marval is one of the colorful French artists who found their place on the Paris art scene in the early 20th century. She exhibited alongside icons such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jean Cocteau and Maurice Denis. With bold colors and free brushstrokes, Marval portrayed women, often naked, and often with herself as muse and model. A daring move by a woman at the turn of the last century. Lauded by her contemporaries and described by the art critic and poet Guillaume Apollinaire as "One of the most remarkable artists of our time", she participated in countless exhibitions both in France and internationally.

In Millesgården's art gallery, in a retrospective exhibition, the first since 1987 and the first ever outside of France, visitors are greeted by around 50 works spanning Jacqueline Marval's artistic career. The exhibition shows a multifaceted and fascinating artistry that few are aware of but which is now highlighted in collaboration with the Comité Jacqueline Marval in Paris. 

"Two years ago, Jacqueline Marval's name caught Millesgården's attention. Her name appeared in the line of famous French artists such as Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and André Derain and we became curious as to who she was. Our searches led to the Comité Marval in Paris, which spent 40 years acquiring works by her," says Thérèse Dyhlén, acting CEO and museum director at Millesgården. "We are proud to be able to present an interesting and important artistry from the early 20th century that few are aware of."

"It is with great pleasure that we introduce Jacqueline Marval to the Swedish audience. Thanks to the Millesgården Museum, we can now nurture her artistry and ensure that she regains the international recognition she had before her death," announces Comité Jacqueline Marval.

The exhibition Jacqueline Marval – Fauvism Feminism Flamboyance runs between February 10, 2024 and May 19, 2024 and is shown in Millesgården Museum's art gallery.


About Jacqueline Marval:
Jacqueline Marval was born Marie-Joséphine Vallet in 1866 near Grenoble in France. She trains to be a teacher, marries and has a son, who dies at just six months old. Her son's tragic death leads to a kind of rebirth that will affect the rest of her life. She leaves her former life behind, divorces, moves to the artists' quarter of Montparnasse in Paris and takes the name Jacqueline Marval (Mar+Val from her former name) and makes a living as a seamstress and embroiderer. Marval begins to associate with artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Kees van Dongen, Albert Marquet and Tsuguharu Foujita. She begins to paint, self-taught, free, flamboyant and spontaneous, and the gallerist Berthe Weill, renowned and diligent patron of women artists, exhibits her work from 1902.

At the Salon d´automne in 1905, where Marval exhibited at the same time as, among others, Matisse, the visitors were shocked by a painting with undisguised wild, living brushstrokes and unmixed expressive colors and a critic called them les fauves – the savages. The term Fauvism was born!

Like her artist friend Matisse, she lets color be the motif, frees it from its descriptive role and lets it convey emotions. Recurring in Jacqueline Marval's painting we find familiar facial features; her own. They are found not only in self-portraits but also in depictions of odalisques and other figures. She is her own muse and often portrays the female body without idealization or beautification, free and with a different look from the man's. Marval did not exhibit as a female
artist and often refused similar proposals, she wouldn’t want to be considered for her gender, rather for her art.

Marval makes a name for herself and exhibits with artists who are today seen as giants: Picasso, Matisse and Denis. One of Marval's works was shown at The Armory Show in 1913, the acclaimed exhibition where European contemporary art was first presented in New York. In the same year, she received the prestigious commission to paint eight panels in the new theater Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, one of Europe's first Art Deco buildings.

During the 1920s, she is introduced to the trendy beach life in the seaside resort of Biarritz by the revolutionary couturier Paul Poiret. On the canvas, she attaches sun-kissed sandy beaches, lapping waves and the throng of people relaxing in black bathing suits. In some works, she lets the light dominate, and lets bathers and parasols stand out as small black dots against the canvas.

Along the Seine, at 19 quai Saint Michel, she lives next door to Flandrin, Marquet and Matisse. Showy bouquets of flowers against a background of Notre Dame and strolling Parisians form motifs in the last years of Marval's life. She dies of cancer on May 28, 1932, aged 65.

Some tone-setting works in the exhibition:
L'Odalisque au Guépard, oil on canvas (1900)
The painting is one of Marval's first and was exhibited at the Salon des indépendants in 1901. It is seen as her manifesto where she used herself as muse and model and is said to be the first female nude self-portrait in the history of art.

L'Étrange femme, oil on canvas (1920)
The painting is a subtle nude study where the elongated body, composition and details embody the essence of the happy 1920s. This flamboyance is recurring in Marval's motifs, but also part of her lifestyle.

Fleurs devant Notre-Dame, oil on canvas, (ca. 1920)
In the center stands a bouquet of amaryllis with Notre-Dame and people botanizing among Paris' famous bookcases as background. Towards the end of her life, flamboyant flower bouquets were a recurring motif for Marval.

Biarritz, oil on canvas (1923)
The time in Biarritz together with fashion designer Paul Poiret was an important period in Marval's life. Here she meets, and early depicts, a coming trend; sunbathing. Here she created detailed portraits of women and men in fashionable bathing suits but also environmental images where people and parasols appear as small black dots on the canvas.

About the exhibition:
The exhibition Jacqueline Marval – Fauvism Feminism Flamboyance is a retrospective exhibition, the first since 1987 and the first ever outside France. The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Comité Jacqueline Marval in Paris.

For further press information, an invitation to a press screening or other press questions,
please contact Thomas Hägg, thomas.hagg@millesgarden.se or 0708-723806.

Reclaiming Beauty 
10 June - 10 Sept 2023

Mats Gustafson (b. 1951) began his career as an illustrator in the late 1970s. His elegant and subtly expressive watercolours and pastel works expanded the scope and possibilities of fashion illustration. His works reinvigorated the genre. Among his clients we find Hermès, Svenskt Tenn, Tiffany & Co. and Yohji Yamamoto. For the past ten years, Gustafson has primarily worked for the Dior Fashion House. 

Side by side with fashion illustration, his brush strokes have conjured up portraits: of people, stones, and swans. He turns his gaze repeatedly to the nature on Long Island in the U.S, where he has lived for 20 years. His work has recently been exhibited in the Nordic Watercolour Museum and CFHILL.

Ted Muehling (b. 1953) has designed jewellery and decorative objects inspired by organic forms in nature since 1976. In his New York City studio, he produces pieces using semi-precious stones, metals, pearls, horn, plastic and wood. Boxes, jewellery, vases, a mirror; often unique pieces, dedicated to a friend. Always with nature as a starting point. Avoiding the conventions and limitations of industrial design, he works on his own designs in an artisanal fashion, where time is not an obstacle and quantity is not a necessity.

The Gustafson and Muehling art shares a common language as they explore textures. The texture of fabrics, skin, shells, sand, stone and metals. Muehling’s cabinet of curiosities with collections of natural artefacts and ancient fossils, and Gustafson’s solitary watercolour stones and haute couture of rapid brush strokes, address the eternal questions of life’s transitory nature – memento mori.

The exhibition at Millesgården shows the two artists’ work side by side in a spirited environment – with antique portrait busts, Baroque furnishings and cabinets of curiosities filled with the wonders of nature. The curator is designer Tom Hedqvist (b. 1948).

For further press info,
please contact Thomas Hägg, thomas@thomashagg.com or +46 (0)708-723806.

High res press photos for download: Press images Reclaiming Beauty


Millesgården have, through Sotheby's acquired two Roman marble figures of dogs, from the 2nd century AD. They were at the end of 1930s offered for sale along with the Actaeonsculpture Carl Milles bought. The sculpture Milles bought depicts a recoiling man with traces of canine jaws and paws on the thighs. Milles acquired only the male figure, without dogs.

Actaeon was, according to Greek mythology, the grandson of the King of Thebes, and a skilled hunter. During a hunt with his two dogs, he wanders into a forbidden forest and sees the hunting goddess Artemis bathing naked. Artemis discovers him and in anger she transforms him into a deer, then the hunter's own dogs attack and tear him to pieces. At the British Museum in London there is a sculpture group of the same theme, including dogs, but on a smaller scale. In this sculpture the antlers are starting to grow out of Actaeons head.

The acquisition complements Millesgården´s collection of antiques and also enables research on Carl Milles and his collection of antique collecting, why he made the choices he made  when purchasing antique sculpture, and also research on this specific theme in antique sculpture.


The aquisition is made possible thanks to a generous contribution by Millesgården´s friends association. 


Actaeon in the antiques collection at Millesgården. Photo: Yanan Li.