Auguste Bigand (Champlan 1803 - 1875 Versailles)
Black chalk and watercolor
55.5 x 34 cm
Signed, dated and dedicated lower right: Bigand 1850 à l'Ami…
Nicknamed "Bigand the Colorist" by Baudelaire, Auguste Bigand joined the École des Beaux-Arts in 1822 and became a pupil of Pierre Guérin and then of Hersent. Returning to France after a trip to Italy begun in 1828, he participated in the Salon from 1834. Through. Horace Vernet, he was introduced to the Avignon naturalist Esprit Requien. The latter organized dinners attended by all the great and the good of the one-time papal city of Avignon. Prosper Mérimée, Paul Delaroche and Franz Liszt were also regulars. This is how Bigand gradually received many local orders.
The Calvet Museum now has a significant collection of his works, partly as a result of the bequests of Esprit Requien and Raynolt in 1922. One of the paintings that can be seen there, "Caravaggio in his studio" is often considered to be his self-portrait.
Our drawing represents a nude half figure. She poses in profile with her face three-quarter turned towards us. The horizontal position of her left arm, which divides the composition, makes it very original. The model's extremely melancholy look is intriguing, as if we had come upon the aftermath of a dramatic scene. It confers a great strength to the whole work that makes this image particularly astonishing.
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