Portrait of Constance Mayer, Pierre-Paul Prud’hon
On WikiArt, large version here. Original is in the collection of the Louvre, though I can’t find a listing for it on the museum’s new website.
I had the pleasure of seeing this drawing in person at a show of Prud’hon’s work at the Metropolitan Museum of Art some years ago, and it is absolutely stunning.
The drawing is not large —perhaps 12×16″ if I remember correctly — done in black and white chalk on toned paper. Even among the much larger and strikingly beautiful figure drawings in the show, this small, intimate portrait was arresting.
The sensitivity of the drawing is remarkable, and Prud’hon’s affection for Mayer shines from it with an almost physical presence.
Mayer was Prud’hon’s pupil, later his contemporary, collaborator and companion. As beautiful and affectionate as the portrait is, the story of Prud’hon and Mayer is a tragic one, as recounted by James Abbott on The Jade Sphinx.
See my previous post on Pierre-paul Prud’hon.