Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, Standing Female Nude, a black chalk drawing

France, around 1810

A study for the decorations of the Place de l'Hotel de Ville, Paris

Prud'hon (1758-1823) was a keen revolutionary like his contemporary Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825). However he rejected the more austere version of the Neoclassicism that dominated late eighteenth-century Paris. His works have a sentimental appeal which found official favour in the commission to decorate the l'Hôtel de Ville, in celebration of the marriage of Napoleon and Marie-Louise in 1810. For this he designed a colonnade topped by ten figures representing the arts, sciences and industry.

This female nude, emits a gentle stoicism, characteristic of the drawing Academy. She was clothed in the final scheme and personified Navigation. The drawing was bequeathed to The British Museum, along with fifteen other important French drawings, by the French dealer and scholar César Mange de Hauke (1900-1965).

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More information


J. Rowlands, Master drawings and watercolou (London, The British Museum Press, 1984)

G. Grappe, P.P. Prudhon (Paris, A. Michel, 1958)

S. Laveissière, Prudhon, exh. cat. (Paris, Flammarion, 1997)


Height: 625.000 mm
Width: 415.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1968-2-10-18


Bequeathed by César Mange de Hauke


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