rare proof

Robert Besnard (1881–1914), Little B of Villerville, 1884

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Bequest of Mrs. Charles S. Pillsbury, 1958expand_more  P.12,628

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Young Robert, nicknamed Le Bi (Little B) by his mother, is shown at age three carrying a folder of papers in a park. People describing this print often mistake him for a girl because he wears a dress. However, boys at that time commonly wore dresses at least until they were toilet trained. (The dress eased both diaper changing and toilet training.) Robert’s short haircut and bangs firmly identify him as a boy. His plump cheeks, his defining characteristic, are gravity-defying as only a toddler’s can be.

The inscription pinpoints the setting as Villerville, a coastal village in Normandy, where the family spent much of the summer of 1884.

Details
Title
Robert Besnard (1881–1914), Little B of Villerville
Artist Life
1849–1934
Role
Artist
Accession Number
P.12,628
Catalogue Raisonne
Delteil/Godefroy 20 i/ii; Coppier 15
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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rare proof