The title of the series of prints,
Elle, refers to Death (La Mort). It is considered one of Albert Besnard's
most significant works in printmaking and depicts the omnipresence of death among the
Born in Paris, Albert Besnard entered the École des Beaux-Arts in 1866. He exhibited at the
Salon of 1868 and won the Prix de Rome in 1874. While in Rome, he met Charlotte Dubray
(1854-1931), the daughter of the sculptor Vital Dubray, and a sculptor herself, who
benefited from the sponsorship of the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland to study sculpture in
Rome. After their marriage in 1879, the couple moved to London where Besnard received
numerous commissions as a portrait painter and studied printmaking with Alphonse Legros.
Their four children, three sons and a daughter, also became artists. Besnard was the
director of the Académie de France in Rome from 1913-1921, the director of the École des
Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1922 to 1932, and became the first painter to be given a state
funeral in France.