Silence or Immortality
The Petit Palais owns an important cameo, Autumn, by Georges Lemaire, a sculptor and engraver of precious stones, and two statuettes, one representing Etienne Marcel and the other Silence.
The latter two works demonstrate Lemaire’s taste for semi-precious stones which he liked to
select and combine. The iconography of Silence has links with Symbolist art.
From Burne-Jones to Khnopff, turn of the century artists excelled at depicting pale, slender, untouchable women as allegories for mystery and secrecy. The full-frontal pose of the model is further accentuated by the stylised lines of her clothing, the steadiness of her self-absorbed gaze and the strange movements of her hands which are clasping a crown of laurels, making this display object a fascinating icon, a femme fatale-cum-priestess of an unknown cult.