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Marie Duhem: 4 cool facts

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By Gwylym Owen

Marie Amélie Hortense Sergeant (18 March 1871 in Guemps – 9 July 1918 in Douai) was a French painter.

Her parents ran a lace factory, so she became familiar with working as a designer and model at an early age. She began her art studies with Adrien Demont, husband of painter Virginie Demont-Breton. She met her future husband, the painter Henri Duhem, in her workshop in Wissant, who was eleven years older than herself.

In addition to painting, Duhem was also a passionate art collector who was particularly interested in post-Impressionism. Her collection includes important paintings by Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin. The lesser-known members of the group include George Maroniez, Francis Tattegrain and Fernand Stievenart. The Duhem collection is kept in the Musee Marmottan.

In 1912 she became officer of the Ordre des Palmes Academiques and Chevalier of the Legion d’honneur. In 1915, her only son Remy was killed in an attack on Les Eparges. Marie never recovered from his death, neglecting her health and died of a tumour at the age of 47.

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