Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Artist:
Natashia Troubetskoia, active c. 1932  Search this
Sitter:
Anaïs Nin, 21 Feb 1903 - 14 Jan 1977  Search this
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
Stretcher: 193 × 110.5 cm (76 × 43 1/2")
Frame: 210.5 × 129.2 × 8.6 cm (82 7/8 × 50 7/8 × 3 3/8")
Type:
Painting
Date:
c. 1932
Exhibition Label:
Born Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Anaïs Nin wrote about female identity and sexuality in a style that was both explicit and poetic. Her most significant work, a diary spanning six decades, recounts her transformative experiences in Paris from 1926 to 1939.
At first, Nin felt intimidated by the city’s competitive literary scene. She hid her insecurity behind “original, striking clothes which distinguish me from other women.” She was delighted when a blue velvet coat she had made was mistaken for a design by the eminent couturier Jeanne-Marie Lanvin. It appears in this portrait by the Russian artist Natashia Troubetskoia, who admired Nin’s eccentric style.
In between portrait sittings, Nin was writing her first book—a study of the writer D.H. Lawrence. Published in 1932, its shocking sexual candor marked her distinctive literary voice. As she wrote in her diary, she no longer needed clothing to express her uniqueness. “I have other things to do.”
Nacida en Neuilly-sur-Seine, Francia
Anaïs Nin escribió sobre la identidad y la sexualidad femeninas en un estilo explícito y a la vez poético. Su obra capital, un diario que abarcó seis décadas, narra sus experiencias transformadoras en París entre 1926 y 1939.
Al principio, Nin se sintió intimidada por la competitiva escena literaria de la ciudad. Ocultó su inseguridad con “ropa original y llamativa que me distingue de las demás”. Una vez se maravilló cuando alguien confundió un abrigo de terciopelo azul hecho por ella con un modelo del gran diseñador Jeanne-Marie Lanvin. El abrigo aparece en esta obra de la rusa Natashia Troubetskoia, admiradora del estilo excéntrico de Nin.
Cuando posó para el retrato, Nin escribía su primer libro, un estudio del escritor D.H. Lawrence. Publicado en 1932, su chocante franqueza sexual marcó la voz literaria de Nin. Como dijo en su diario, ya no necesitaba ropa para expresar su singularidad: “Tengo otras cosas que hacer”.
Provenance:
(Galerie Anne Julien, Paris); purchased 2003 NPG
The vendor wrote that it was acquired in 2000 from a private collection, Paris, through Galerie Petrouchka. They had purchased it around 1983-85 from an antiques fair in Ile de Chatou, a White Russian enclave. Fanfan Berger, Gallerie Anne Julien, letter 2 May 2002 to Brandon Fortune, NPG.
Topic:
Costume\Jewelry\Necklace  Search this
Home Furnishings\Furniture\Seating\Chair  Search this
Costume\Jewelry\Ring  Search this
Costume\Outerwear\Coat\Fur  Search this
Anaïs Nin: Female  Search this
Anaïs Nin: Literature\Writer\Novelist  Search this
Anaïs Nin: Literature\Writer\Diarist  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Object number:
NPG.2003.3
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Exhibition:
Brilliant Exiles: American Women in Paris, 1900-1939
On View:
NPG, West Gallery 250
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/sm4bf74286a-2be2-4d02-b2f0-8af6c1ac82d4
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_NPG.2003.3