Study for "Portrait of an Indian"

Artist: Anne Louis Girodet-Trioson (French, Montargis 1767–1824 Paris)

Date: ca. 1807

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 16 x 12 7/8 in. (40.6 x 32.7 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of Joanne Toor Cummings, by exchange, 1997

Accession Number: 1997.371


This highly finished oil sketch served as the modello for a portrait now in the Musée Girodet at Montargis. When that lifesize canvas was sold at the posthumous auction of Girodet’s studio, it was catalogued as Portrait of an Indian and dated 1807. The costume, however, is Ottoman, not Indian. Girodet was one of the most gifted painters to emerge from the studio of Jacques-Louis David. Returning to Paris in 1795 after his stay at the French Academy in Rome, Girodet developed a style marked by literary preciosity, imaginary pictorial effects, and exotic subjects and settings.