Drapery Study for "Castor and Pollux Freeing Helen"
Joseph-Ferdinand Lancrenon French
Not on view
This sheet is a study for Castor and Pollux Freeing Helen, the assigned subject for the 1817 Prix de Rome competition, in which Lancrenon placed third. While the final painting’s location is unknown, this preparatory drawing focuses on the drapery of Helen. The nude male figure escorting her is outlined to her right. Lancrenon’s study echoes a practice promulgated in Jacques Louis David’s (French, 1748–1825) studio that encouraged studies of figures, nude and clothed, followed by sketches of heads. Here, the adept draftsman delineates Helen’s svelte form through long strokes of black chalk and subtle modeling with white—a style indebted to that of his teacher, Anne Louis Girodet-Trioson (French, 1767–1824).