A feminist drama set in the bohemian Paris of the Fin de siécle.
Late 19th century Paris is the world capital of art and culture. The reputation of the city originates then as regards fine arts and cabare, high fashion or modern architecture — just consider the Eiffel tower.
Modernization is in full swing in third republic France: the church and state are being separated, railroads are getting built, socialism is more popular than ever, and the conservative forces that have long controlled society are ever weakening.
The people on the streets and at the workplaces are moving towards what we would recognize as modernity, yet homes are still refuges of the safe and the familiar: women wash, cook and care for the children while the men bring in the bread.
Simone is 16 years old, an only child. She's the daughter of the famous painter Jacques Percheron. The family lives in a spacious home on the Montmartre; Jacquest owns the entire building, with the bottom floors rented out as offices and the loft made out into an artist's peculiar combination of a home and an atelier.
Simone's mother is something of a shrinking violet, which matter bothers Simone, who is ever disappointed by her mother's inability to speak up for herself against the master of the house. Father is the lord of his domicile, and when the Father is working, women are to remain in the kitchenette or otherwise out of the way of the sunlight.
Jacques is an impressionist, but he paints mostly in his atelier, doing portraits and studies on still lifes and models. At one time Jacques' nudes visited the house regularly; some of them were Simone's earliest friends. Over the last year, however, father has abandoned other models, for he has discovered the muse of his old age — his own daughter.
Simone finds it really shameful to model for her father, but Jacques insists that she possesses the perfect frame for this simple task, and he would rather not paint anybody else for now. When father's artist friends visit, Simone prefers to hide so as to avoid having them recognize her in father's recent work. They do garner praise, apparently, better than any of his work in a while.
Simone has some creative inclinations herself as well, but this hardly matters in the Percheron household; Jacques considers the notion of female schooling and working life nothing but an amusing oddity. On the other hand, he's not really interested in marrying his daughter off either, now that he's started paying attention to her. Time will tell.
Although the home does not really see other guests, Simone has a friend in the publishing house operating downstairs, where the roost is exceptionally ruled by a woman, one Caroline Kauffman. Caroline is a feminist and a suffragette, and her magazine is the /Combat féministe/, a socialist-feminist periodical. Caroline has been encouraging Simone to work towards her ambitions, and Simone has come to believe that she might find a position as a maid with the elder woman, should she decide to run away from home.
As befits a hero of her own story.
Language games are a passion for Simone.
Simone understands what is expected of her.
Flexible and quick to learn.
Simone has learned a thing or two about art from her father.
Young and inexperienced.
|1|| Low self-esteem
Result of the upbringing.