Fernande Barrey

Fernande Barrey (January 9, 1893 in Saint-Valery-sur-Somme – July 14, 1960 in Paris)[1] was a French artist model and painter.

Fernande Barrey
Portrait of Fernande Barrey by Amedeo Modigliani (c. 1917)
Born(1893-01-09)January 9, 1893
DiedJuly 17, 1960(1960-07-17) (aged 67)
Paris, France
OccupationArtist model


Fernande Barrey left her native Picardy in about 1908 and moved to Paris, where she began to make a living as a prostitute. She then became the model for many painters, including Jean Agélou, Amedeo Modigliani and Chaim Soutine, who persuaded her to study painting and art history at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts.[2]

In March 1917, she met the Japanese artist Tsuguharu Foujita at the Café de la Rotonde in Montparnasse,[3] who fell madly in love with her and married her thirteen days later.[1] In 1918 the couple moved to escape the German bombs to Cagnes-sur-Mer, where she spent a year painting and meeting many friends.[1] During this period, she became friends with Jeanne Hébuterne, the bride of Modigliani.[4] When Modigliani died of tuberculosis in 1920, Barrey tried in vain to console the new widow, but Jeanne, eight months pregnant, committed suicide.

During the year 1925, the couple led a very open relationship, both having relations with people of both sexes. The painter did not forgive Fernande after she had a love affair with his cousin, Koyanagi, a painter. He then locked himself with the Belgian artist Lucie Badoul (called Youki) for three days during which Fernande desperately sought her husband in the Parisian morgues. In 1928, the couple divorced[5] and she lived with Koyanagi in Montmartre. When Koyanagi was separated himself in 1935, his relationship with Tsugouharu Foujita improved; he helped her financially until her death.

Some sources link Fernande Barrey and the famous Miss Fernande, favourite model of the female photographer Jean Agelou who appeared on many erotic postcards,[6] although this has never been proven.[7]

As a painter, she exhibited the paintings Josiane and Les Pêches at the Salon d'Automne in 1929.[8]


  1. "Fernande Barrey". www.helfenfinearts.com. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  2. Kluver & Martin 1994, p. 79.
  3. Modigliani & Parisot 2005, p. 96.
  4. Meyers 2014.
  5. Berk & Banham 2001, p. 157.
  6. La Volpe 2005.
  7. Lemonier 2015, p. 332.
  8. Édouard-Joseph 1930, p. 81.


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