“La belle noiseuse”.
(The beautiful troublemaker)

 (Noiseuse, French: hazzlenut girl (picker/seller). But also compare English: “nuisance”) 

Bernard Dufour, a French painter started his professional life studying agricultural engineering but during his WW-II forced labour in Germany came to study and copy French and Classic masters before having a career as a successful career as a free creating artist. 

In 1991 the Movie “La belle Noiseuse”, which was partly based and inspired by his life and book “La figure du Sexe, de Cro-Magnon a moi” was made by Jacques Rivette (1928-2016) , starring actors Michel Piccoli (1925-2020) and Emanuelle Beart (b. 1963) as the old painter and his beautiful young model. 

The movie is about an elderly painter struggling to create a last masterpiece. At the heart of the film the actual painting (a classic "neu de dos” or reclining female nude seen from the back) is said to be by Dufour’s hand. It is only known as a still from the movie. A certain relationship, inspiration or hint to Picasso’s (1881-1973) famous blue nude painting (painted in 1902) can be recognised. The actual existence or where-about of the painting is unknown, did not became clear.  

The movie obviously inspired Constant Nieuwenhuys (1920-2005) a Dutch Cobra group artist (and with Karel Appel a founding member) to paint his version of the “Belle Noiseuse”. Some research brought also an etched version (mirrored) to light and this “Odalique” also based also on Emanuelle Beart and the movie.