Maurice Milliere

Maurice Milliere was born in the city of Le Havre, France on December 12, 1871. For the majority of his career he worked in and around Paris, where he initially painted landscapes. He also took commissions painting portraits of Paris high-society women. By 1905 he gradually began illustrating for French fashion magazines just as most of his contemporaries did. He also regularly provided images for advertisements, and specialized in make-up. However, Maurice Milliere holds a claim to fame for being recognized as the first true boudoir artist.

By 1913 he was producing etchings with all of the familiar elements we normally associate with the genre. The vast majority of Milliere’s illustrations featured the same woman, whom he called Fanny. Known as “petite femme de Milliere” (small woman of Milliere) she is described as a beautiful, erotic, independent, young redhead who remained eternally young throughout his career. Milliere only continued to produce boudoir art until 1930, but he continued to submit watercolors, paintings, and drawings to various salons for another decade. Maurice Milliere died of pneumonia on April 5, 1946. His postcards from the period are highly collectible, and can fetch high prices at auctions when they become available. His etchings are difficult to find, and have collectors bidding high when they do come to market. While not as well-known as Louis Icart, he does have a large following among collectors of 20th century erotica.