Hodler considered coquetry and theatrical exaggeration of feelings as the epitome of femininity. In his portrait of the sixteen-year-old Hélène Weiglé, the Swiss Symbolist tamed the feminine principle with clear structures. The sprawling leaves opening up into a dark path in the upper part of the picture are juxtaposed with the young woman’s rigorous profile and her checked dress against a grey backdrop. She is rather aloofly scrutinising a single chrysanthemum, and her gracefulness seems artificial, as if she is aware of being observed.
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