Janet Janine


Born in 1913 on the French island of La Réunion, Janet spent her childhood surrounded by exotic nature - an upbringing which engrained in her a profound love of the elemental and animal. This love was to serve as the basis for the artist's free-spirited preoccupation with breaking the boundaries between the genres found in the natural world.

Having spent time at the École des Beaux arts in Toulouse and Paris, Janet remained in the capital to study at the École des Art Décoratifs, experimenting with painting, engraving and sculpture. Her style developed within the context of a broad artistic reaction against the rationalism that prevailed during the Art Deco movement.

The artist is perhaps best known for the unique window displays she created for fashion designers, particularly those made in collaboration with the designer Cristobal Balenciaga, who requested that the artist work for him after admiring her talent. Her ambitious creations were thus at the forefront of the Parisian fashion scene, and were often shown on their own - without the designer's clothes - to embody the brand's spirit and capture the attention of the audience of the Parisian streets through their curious narrative and medium.

Janet also worked closely with the poet and artist, Jean Cocteau, creating costumes for his 1950s Orphic Trilogy - a project which married both artists' fascination with mythology.


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