Olympe Pélissier

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Study of Olympe Pélissier by Horace Vernet for his Judith and Holofernes
Vernet's Judith and Holofernes, for which Pélissier modelled

Olympe Pélissier (1799[1]-1878) was a French artists' model and the second wife of the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. She sat for Vernet for his painting of Judith and Holofernes.

Under the Bourbon Restoration, Pélissier had been a notable figure in Parisian society, admired by the Comte de Girardin, holding salons attended by Baron Schikler, and in 1830 having a liaison with Honoré de Balzac.[2][3] She and Rossini first met in the 1830s in the aftermath of his separation from his first wife Isabella Colbran. Olympe began to cook for him and manage his business affairs, although they only married after Isabella's death in 1845, on August 16, 1846. She lived with him at his new house in the Passy suburb, and continued to reside there after his death in 1868.

In fiction, she appears in the 1974 French television film Eugène Sue,[4] played by Claudine Coster.


  1. ^ http://autourduperetanguy.blogspirit.com/archive/2007/03/03/olympe-pelissier.html
  2. ^ De La Littérature : Biographie de Honoré de Balzac
  3. ^ Balzac : Monde et demi monde dans La Comédie humaine - Le blog de Med Médiène
  4. ^ [1]

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