This beautiful portrait - drawn in charcoal and heightened with white for the lace and blue to accentate the sitter's eyes depicts a young woman called Madame Arthus. It dates from the French "romantic period", the 1820s-30s. It was then that the ladies Arthus and Seguin families of Avignon had their portaits drawn by Adèle Grasset, and I was fortunate enough to acquire a small number of them.
As often with woman artists of the 18th and 19th century, there is little biographical information available on Adèle Grasset. We do know however, that she had studied with the highly prominent artist François "Baron" Gérard (1770-1837).
Adèle Grasset is particularly famed for her portrait of the poet Louise Colet, Gustave Flaubert's lover. Another painting by Adèle Grasset, a portrait of Canova, is in Versailles Castle.
Please note that the work presented here is unsigned. We have an analogous and similar drawing of Mme Arthus signed by Adèle Grasset and dated 1836. The present work is most likely a study, or a copy.
Measured without its frame, the size of the drawing is 32 x 24.5 cm
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