In Paris, at the Musée d'Orsay, there is a monumental work by Gustave Courbet, painted in 1855, entitled: The painter's studio, real allegory. 

This strange painting represents the painter in front of his canvas, surrounded by his potential models. On his right, his friends, art lovers including the poet Charles Baudelaire reading. But who is behind Baudelaire? A slightly blurred silhouette, like a ghost reappearing in a wall, it is Jeanne Duval, the poet's companion, covered with a layer of paint by Courbet himself. Over time, it appears on the surface and seems to haunt the painting. She is a “pentimento”. This term, used in painting to illustrate such a physico-chemical phenomenon, will never have had so much meaning, perfectly accounting for all the identity problems of his biography as well as his mysterious relationship with the poet.

Who is Jeanne Duval and why was she erased? Jeanne was a black, mixed-race woman, living in Paris. We do not know his origins, nor his real name, nor his date of birth, nor that of his death. Blinded by the racism of the 19th and 20th centuries, most literary critics accused Joan of all perversions, of being uneducated and illiterate, or simply ignored or concealed her. 
This film aims to rehabilitate the woman who inspired some of the most beautiful poems in the French language.
A film by Régine Abadia
Produced by Sophie Parrault
With the voices of Mata Gabin (narrator) and Eric Ruf from the Comédie Française (Baudelaire)
Design and animation: Ricardo Kump
Original soundtrack and sound designMargarida Guia
Montage : Joseph Licidé
A coproduction Little Big Story and Via Découvertes Films
With the participation of France Télévisions and TV5Monde
With the support of PROCIREP, Centre National du Cinéma et de l'Image animée, Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur and 
Musées d'Orsay  et de l'Orangerie

Developing the visual identity
concepts and still frames

Sequences created for the poems:
Je te donne ces vers
(click here for more info)
La Chevelure​​​​​​​
Une charogne
*illustrations by Stéphane Levallois​​​​​​​
Le Cygne​​​​​​​
*illustrations by Stéphane Levallois​​​​​​​
Les bijoux
*sketches by Auguste Rodin
(available soon)

Still frames from the poems sequences:
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