Sonrel, Élisabeth

1874 – 1953

Élisa-Marie-Stéphanie-Adrienne Sonrel, better known as Élisabeth Sonrel, was the daughter of the painter Stephan Sonrel and received her earliest training from her father in Tours. She continued her studies at the Académie Julian in Paris where she studied under the well respected artist Jules Lefebvre.

By the age of 20, she was already submitting work to the Salon des Artistes Français and a few years later she was awarded the prestigious Henri Lehmann prize, a recognition of academic excellence by a young artist that was issued every three years.

Sonrel is best known for her beautifully colored Art Nouveau posters and watercolors that are a curious combination of Symbolism, Pre-Raphaelites and the Italian Renaissance. Sonrel never married and her art remained largely hidden until being re-discovered by European institutions in the last few years.