(Montargis 1767 - Paris 1824)
A Standing Nude Woman Holding Her Left Breast
462 x 356 mm. (18 1/8 x 14 in.)
Parallels may also be found in other drawings by Girodet of mythological or allegorical subjects, such as preparatory drawing for a figure of Autumn painted in 1814 for the Chateau of Compiègne, known through a counterproof in the Musée Girodet in Montargis, or a rapid sketch for a composition of Pandora, also in the Musée Girodet, which includes a similar standing figure in the centre of the sheet. The present figure is also akin to the posed nude model in a drawing of a scene from antiquity depicting an artist in his studio, which was attributed to Girodet when on the Paris art market in 1972. Finally, it may be noted that a distinct resemblance in facial type is also found between the present sheet and a painting on porcelain of the Head of the Virgin, executed in 1834 by Athénaïs Paulinier after a design by Girodet, which is today in a private collection.
The purpose of this drawing, and the identity of the figure depicted, remains a mystery. While the gesture of a woman holding her breast was common in depictions of the nursing Virgin and Child, the present sheet cannot have been intended for such a composition.
Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 7 July 1998, lot 258
P. & D. Colnaghi, in 1999
Mrs. John (Dodie) Rosekrans, Venice and San Francisco
Thence by descent until 2011.