Head of a Female Figure in Profile, Turned to the Right

Hughes Taraval (French, 1729-1785)c. 1763-1770?

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Like the sheet shown nearby by Greuze, this drawing belongs to a type of work known as an expressive head (tête d'expression). Capturing the representation of a specific emotion on the human face became a standard exercise for artists in France and was especially popular during the second half of the 1700s. In 1758, a special prize for drawing the expressive head was established at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Although we have no documentation regarding the specific emotion Taraval wanted to capture here, the work may represent admiration or adoration.

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  • Title: Head of a Female Figure in Profile, Turned to the Right
  • Creator: Hughes Taraval (French, 1729-1785)
  • Date Created: c. 1763-1770?
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 37.4 x 26.2 cm (14 3/4 x 10 5/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Michelangelo Pacetti (Lugt 2057, lower left, in black inka); [Walter Schatzki, New York]; purchased in 1975., a. Because a touch of red has been added over this mark, it might easily be confused with Lugt 2057 (also a "P"), which appears in red ink. However, the shape of the letter here matches the Pacetti mark, and under magnification the black ink with which it was applied becomes apparent.
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/2008.363
  • Medium: charcoal with red and white chalk and stumping
  • Inscriptions: signed, lower right, in charcoal or black chalk: Taraval; verso of secondary support, center, in brown ink: No 2; center, in graphite: 144 [circled]; lower right, in graphite: R + S / 5985; lower right, in graphite: 1240 [underlined] / hu77
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: France, 18th century
  • Credit Line: Bequest of Muriel Butkin
  • Collection: DR - French
  • Accession Number: 2008.363

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