Émilie Charmy was born in Saint-Étienne in 1878, in a family owned by a local foundry. She becomes an orphan at the age of five when her mother is dead. His brother Jean becomes his guardian. In 1898, the two left Saint-Etienne and settled in Lyon, where Charmy knew the Lyon painter Jacques Martin. She attends her workshop and learn painting techniques. Thanks to the modernity of her mentor, she is formed in a climate of freedom already far from the academic tradition.

In 1903, Charmy and his brother moved to Saint-Cloud, near Paris. Closer to the Parisian artistic scene, she exhibited for the first time at the Salon des Indépendants. In 1905, the work of Charmy is noticed by the gallerist Berthe Weill, who became her friend. In the gallery of Weill, Charmy was able to exhibit his works several times until 1923.

In 1906, Charmy met the painter Charles Camoin, with whom she began a relationship for the next six years. She stayed with him in Corsica in 1906 and 1909. The influence of these trips appears in paintings like Rocks at the edge of the sea, Corsica.

In 1910, Charmy moved to a studio at 54 rue de Bourgogne in Paris.

The artist has a first important personal exhibition in 1911. The Eugène Druet gallery presents forty paintings of Charmy between January 29 and February 11, 1911. Among the works there were landscapes, still lifes, portraits and twenty-five watercolors.

Between 1911 and 1912, she probably met the painter George Bouche, with whom she stayed in Marnat (Auvergne) in 1913, after having broken with Camoin during the winter of 1912. He chose to settle six months of the year in Marnat where he paints large landscapes on the edge of abstraction. Charmy discovers Marnat and continues her research on landscape and self-portrait. Period of flat colors.

In 1914, Bouche was mobilized for the war and Charmy remained alone in Marnat. With Bouche, Charmy has a son in 1915, Edmond Bouche, who is immediately sent to a nanny in Étampes. During the war, Auvergne becomes home and Berthe Weill makes some visits.

In 1919, Charmy knew Count Etienne de Jouvencel, who supported and promoted her work. He becomes his main collector and will be able to communicate his enthusiasm for his painting to the literary and artistic world of the time.

Two important exhibitions of Charmy took place in 1921. In June, the personal exhibition "Toiles", organized by Jouvencel at the Galerie d'oeuvres d'art, 50, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore in Paris. The catalog texts are written by Louis Léon-Martin, Henri Béraud, Roland Dorgelès and Pierre Mac Orlan. The exhibition is a huge success in the press. The second exhibition in the same year was at the Gallery of Ancient and Modern Art in Paris, whose catalog is prefaced by the writer Colette. The text is also published in Revue de Paris.

In 1922, Count Jouvencel organized an exhibition on "the female nude" at the Galerie Styles, 50, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré in Paris. The exhibition featured works by Delacroix, Ingres, Corot, Manet, Renoir and Matisse with a catalog prefaced by Louis Vauxcelles. Charmy was the only woman among them. She exposes two large nudes. The French and foreign press praised Charmy's work.

In 1926, Charmy was decorated with the Legion of Honor, thanks to the company of Elie-Joseph Bois, director of Petit Parisien. He introduced her to numerous political figures, including Edouard Daladier, Aristide Briand and Louise Weiss, whom she will be close to.
She has a solo exhibition at the Barbazanges gallery in Paris, an article by Henri Béraud dedicated to him on the first page of Paris-Soir.

Charmy and George Bouche get married in 1931.

In 1936, Charmy exhibited several paintings including Aristide Briand on his deathbed and Portrait of Albert Sarraut at the Charpentier gallery in Paris.
Bouche and Charmy retire in Auvergne during the Occupation. He falls ill with a blood circulation problem and in 1941 he dies. Charmy continues in Auvergne until the end of the war.

After the Liberation, Charmy returned to Paris, to the large apartment at rue de Bourgogne. In the years that follow, Charmy continues to paint but she will not expose any more, except at Jeanne Castel in 1949 and 1952. There will also be a solo exhibition in 1963 at the Paul Pétridès Gallery in Paris.

November 1974: Émilie Charmy dies in Paris, at the age of ninety-six.
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