Jules Joseph LeFebvre (French, 1836–1911),
Study for Chloé
oil on panel, 1 1/8 x 5 ½ in.; 28.26 x 13.97 cm
Gift of Francis T. B. Martin, 1995.38
A successful product of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and recipient of numerous prizes, including the coveted Prix de Rome, LeFebvre began as a traditional history painter. Soon, however, he specialized in idealized classical nudes, usually representing historical and mythological figures such as goddesses and nymphs. The choice of such classical themes, however, only thinly disguises their principal purpose — to display the charms of the perfect female body.
This rendering is likely a study for LeFebvre's large painting of Chloé that is renowned in Melourne, Australia. Even this small panel evidences the artist’s secure draftsmanship, smooth finish, and cool elegance.