Pascal-Adolphe DAGNAN-BOUVERET (Paris 1852 - Quincey 1929)
A Standing Female Nude (Primavera)
Black and red chalk, heightened with white, on paper laid down on board.
Signed PAd Dagnan-B. at the lower right.
306 x 175 mm. (12 x 6 7/8 in.) [image]
324 x 205 mm. (12 3/4 x 8 1/8 in.) [sheet]
Dagnan-Bouveret worked painstakingly on his paintings, making numerous preparatory drawings for each composition. The present sheet is a preparatory study for the painting Primavera of 1914, today in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. When the painting was shown (as an ‘Étude inachevée’, or an unfinished study) at the Paris Salon of 1920, a review of the exhibition noted that ‘As an offering for his return to the fold, from which his already glorious springtime once sprang forth, Mr. Dagnan brings a Primavera, youthful, redheaded, slender, and nude, who emerges, in full relief, with an exquisite gesture of her head and arms, from a green veil where the new season dawns; and in her slenderness there is all the grace of the unfinished.’
As a modern scholar has noted of the painting, ‘The timeless and idealized nude of Primavera evokes the allegorical figures and nymphs that populate the oeuvres of such Symbolist artists as Alphonse Osbert (1857-1939) and Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer (1865-1953).’