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French newspaper from September 1884. The front has a cartoon of a winged woman flying through the air with her skirt as a dirigible balloon. A man in a chair behind her is using bellows to keep her skirt/balloon filled with air. Her skirt /balloon is labeled 'La Belle Alphonsine.' A gondola below the balloon contains three men and has a French flag hanging from either side. Scene is hand-colored with blue, hot pink, and nude-colored ink. Information about the newspaper is at the top, and there is a caption for the scene at the bottom. The paper has three more pages filled with text and small cartoons. Le Belle Alphonsine is perhaps a reference to Alphonsine Fournaise, who was known as "La Belle Alphonsine," and who is a figure in Renoir's "The Luncheon of the Boating Party," as well as the subject of several portraits. As the term "La Belle Alphonsine" occurs in other works of French literature. However, it is possible that the reference is to something else.
La Belle Alphonsine
“La Belle Alphonsine” is something of a puzzle. Alphonsine Fournaise, one of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's favorite models who is portrayed in Luncheon of the Boating Party, is often referred to as La Belle Alphonsine. Is this comic drawing a reference to her, or something and someone else entirely?
This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.