«  The doll is certainly of all the toys the one of that one keeps by aging the most pleasant to remember. It is around the doll that the other toys come to group. »
     Les Joujoux, Pierre Calmettes,  on 1921

A very beautiful exhibition took place for the holidays of the end of year and until January 14 in Soultz's museum, " Nef of Toys ". We had the pleasure to receive communication by Madam Maria Soares Dos Santos, responsible for Museums, a file very complete and very illustrated with this temporary event completely dedicated to the so beautiful children of Catherine Dève. Many of you know and who were able to admire here or there, notably in the Museum of the Doll Paris, beautiful and numerous details. Those that we present you today should owe you enchanrer. It is with pleasure that we dedicate her a site in Poupendol's current events.



A happy childhood and a very well family life

Catherine Dève was born in 1946 to Neuilly on the Seine, only girl of a fratrie of four children. She enters 17 years at the Elisa Lemonnier school (technical secondary school of Applied arts). She works during one year in a studio of graphic creation of tissue. She gets married at the age of 22 years and becomes  mom of three children : Murielle, Emmanuel and Aurélie. At her hours of leisure, she likes painting landscapes, portraits, imaginary scenes. She experiments numerous craft or artistic techniques of which the pastel, the oil on canvas and the painting on silk.

Envies for dolls or drafts of one artist.  

Fascinated by the doll since her most soft childhood - she already made it - Catherine Dève creates an impressive number of dolls in rag.
The benjamine having grown, the homesickness of the childhood gains her and she puts herself to model dolls. And so in 1991, she begins to realize persons in plaster of synthesis then in enamelled terra-cotta inspired with masterpieces : the  " Harlequin " de Picasso, the " Woman with necklace " by Modigliani , " Agostina " of Corot. But this imperfect technique does not satisfy her. 

Then in 1992, it is providential meeting with Heidi, Swiss young lady who teaches her the technique of the china.

Taking for models her two first chidren, Catherine realizes her first creations. s.

The others will follow with reproductions of former models (dolls Jumeau, Belton......) the " Small Girl with watering-can " according to Renoir's picture.

She exposes her work for the first time to Garches's city hall in 1992, then one year later, to Toymania's salon
 Catherine executes family portraits of her children, her nieces, her own mother, self-portraits also. But more and more persons order the artist the portrait of their small daughter or their little boy.

In that precise case, portraits are almost always an unique detail.  

Catherine Dève does not nevertheless hold it there, always wanting to go farther to her passion. The technique becomes refined more and more, endowing her soon with a surprising mastery. So, she creates  dolls stemming from the imagination, or taken out of children's books  : see the magnificent setof " La Belle et la Bête " ( See above )

Besides, she does not hesitate to participate in competitions and thematic exhibitions where one can admire for example Pauline, the cat....

delicate technique  or how the " children " of Catherine Dève are born

Every new sculpture or modelling doll in base of earth implies the manufacture of a mould in plaster into which will be flowed the various details in biscuit ( head, arms, legs ). Several cookings of painting and the successive retouch of the make-up until obtain exact complexion are necessary. Once the finished porcelain details, they are assembled on a body in tissue.

Then intervenes the pose of eyes ( crystal or better porcelain, cunning process elaborated by the artist hersel ), lashes, custom-made wig by the Bravot studio in natural hair or in mohair, the realization of clothes, shoes, accessories. In everything, Catherine Dève passes about hundred hours to give birth to her dear dolls.

 For some of them, Catherine Dève realizes mini series of 3 , 7 , 10, 12 , 16 or 20 details taken out of the same womb. The way of painting them, of putting on them, of dressing them, gives however to each an unique personality. The size of the dolls varies from 35 to about 80 cms.

Catherine Dève's art seems to have reached today its highlight but the artist always curious about new techniques, in lover and in tenderness of the beautiful  of ever quenched mom, wents to give life to the others toddlers more and more meaning and more and more charming

 In when the next childbirthes, Catherine   ?