Henriette Hermine Gudin (1825–1892)
Merchant sailing ship in a calm sea, undated
Oil on wood
14 x 21 cm
In marine painting, female artists are extremely rarely represented, which has different reasons. For one thing, in earlier eras there was hardly any opportunity for women to board a ship. For another, they had a particularly difficult time gaining a foothold in the male-dominated academies in order to be trained as painters.
The International Maritime Museum Hamburg is very fortunate to have Henriette Hermine Gudin, probably the most distinguished female marine painter, in its collection. She was the daughter of the famous painter Théodore Gudin (1802-1880), and quickly enjoyed great success thanks to her special talent. Although she was known as „Gudin La Fille“ during her lifetime, her participation in the Paris Salons in 1848, 1849, 1850, and 1853 proves that she was widely accepted among contemporary critics. Her works are characterized by finely nuanced light accents and their atmospheric effect.
In 1850 she married Étienne François Fauchier in Paris and had a son. After her marriage, however, she continued to sign her paintings with her maiden name. It was not until around 1864 that she began to sign her paintings with the name „Mme Fauchier“.