Description & Technical information

Dagnan-Bouveret worked painstakingly on his paintings, making numerous preparatory drawings for each composition. The present sheet is a preparatory study for the painting Primavera of 1914, today in the collection of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts [see image]. When the painting was shown (as an ‘Étude inachevée’, or an unfinished study) at the Paris Salon of 1920, a review of the exhibition noted that ‘As an offering for his return to the fold, from which his already glorious springtime once sprang forth, Mr. Dagnan brings a Primavera, youthful, redheaded, slender, and nude, who emerges, in full relief, with an exquisite gesture of her head and arms, from a green veil where the new season dawns; and in her slenderness there is all the grace of the unfinished.’

As a modern scholar has noted of the painting, ‘The timeless and idealized nude of Primavera evokes the allegorical figures and nymphs that populate the oeuvres of such Symbolist artists as Alphonse Osbert (1857-1939) and Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer (1865-1953).’

Period:  20th century
Origin:  France
Medium: Black and red chalk, Heightened with white, On paper, Laid down on board
Signature: Signed PAd Dagnan-B. at the lower right.

Dimensions: 30.6 x 17.5 cm (12 x 6⁷/₈ inches)
Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints