This sheet is of a kind sometimes called an academy, that is, a carefully executed drawing of a nude in a studio pose. Although academies were standard exercises for young artists, they were also produced by established draftsmen like Lagrenée, who was a professor at the Académie Royale at the time this drawing was made. As was typical, the model assumes a posture inspired by other works of art. The brooding expression and arrangement of the legs recall figures by Michelangelo, making Lagrenée's drawing both a study of the pose from life and an homage to the earlier master. The sharp contour and compact musculature give the figure a sculptural quality which is further enhanced by the hatching used to describe the volumes of the body and the shadows cast by the left arm and right leg.
Vendor: Colnaghi, New York
Bean and Turcic 1986.147
Jacob Bean "Curatorial Reports and Departmental Accessions: Drawings." in Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 1, 1984 - June 30, 1985. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 115, New York, 1985, p. 26.
Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th-18th Century French Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1986, cat. no. 147, p. 138, ill.
Louis-Antoine Prat Le Dessin Français au XVIIIe siècle. Paris, 2017, 547.