In “Portrait of the young girl on fire”, broadcast this evening on Arte, Noémie Merlant embodies an 18th century painter. The opportunity to evoke precisely the young artist from Lille behind the drawings and paintings of the film.
This September 8, Arte is broadcasting Portrait of the Young Girl on Fire, Céline Sciamma’s beautiful film, which will take home the Best Screenplay Award at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.
Carried by the duo of actresses Adèle Haenel and Noémie Merlant, the film tells the story of Marianne (Merlant), an 18th century painter in charge of making the wedding portrait of Héloïse (Haenel), a young woman who comes to leave the convent. But Héloïse resists her fate as a wife by refusing to pose. Introduced to her as a companion, Marianne will have to paint her in secret …
It is a young artist from Lille by the name ofHelene Delmaire that we owe the drawings and paintings of the film. Trained in Florence between 2006 and 2009 in a small workshop, she defines her artistic approach as follows:
“My work deals with fragility, femininity, the relationship between man and nature and what she reveals to him about himself. If the human is present in my painting, it is not traditional way as the main subject of the image enhanced by its environment. […]
The fragility and the typically “feminine” elements, the flowers, the pastel colors, are preponderant in my work, which seeks to go beyond the infantilizing clichés linked to these notions, by sublimating them, with intensity, in both female and male models. , claiming this sensitivity as a force in the human being in all its spectrum “.
Spotted on Instagram by Céline Sciamma
Spotted on Instagram by director Céline Sciamma, the painting by artist Hélène Delmaire has become, over the course of a film, that of Marianne, the filmmaker’s heroine. “She said to me:” I’m looking for an artist for a film about painting, but I want a contemporary artist and not a copyist. She sent me an email and she came to Lille in the workshop […]. I didn’t know what to expect, I don’t know the world of cinema, I have a bit of a cliché image of it. Actually no. Céline Sciamma is a very humble person with whom we hooked straight away. “
In a interview given to Inrocks in September 2019, Hélène Delmaire reviewed her preparatory work for the film: “Before the shoot, we went to the Louvre with Céline, Claire Mathon, the director of photography, and Thomas Grézaud, the production designer. We found painters from the end of the 18th century, with quite diverse artistic identities. I was particularly inspired by the portraits of Fragonard or by English painters, such as Joshua Reynolds “.
The interested party remained “Fifteen days to three weeks on the set”. An enriching experience, but not easy at first, due to the pace of shooting a film, which can be deconstructed: “A film is not shot in the chronological order of the scenes. So one day the painting will be finished, the next day we film a scene where the painter begins a detail of this same painting. We therefore had to create a stage painting. for each sequence, so that for the two main paintings, I made six or seven versions “ confided the artist at the microphone of France 3 region in October 2019.
If you are interested in the artist’s works, know that some are for sale. You can find them here.