Study of a Woman (Rodugune) Turned toward the Left

Charles-Antoine Coypelabout 1749

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Upon seeing her mother Cleopatra beginning to collapse from poisoning, Rodugune starts up from her throne. Her troubled, histrionic expression recreates the high drama of Pierre Corneille's most successful tragedy Rodugune, from which the dramatist and painter Charles-Antoine Coypel took this subject. Drawing from a live model who may have worn the full costume in his studio, Coypel concentrated on suggesting sudden movement and capturing the play of light on the princess's elaborate dress. He created the sense of a shimmering, luxurious fabric using his characteristic, soft handling of black and white chalk.

Coypel made this drawing as a preliminary study for a cartoon for a tapestry to be woven by the Gobelins Manufactory. The squaring indicates that the design for this single figure was transferred to the larger composition of the cartoon and to an oil modello.


  • Title: Study of a Woman (Rodugune) Turned toward the Left
  • Creator: Charles-Antoine Coypel
  • Date Created: about 1749
  • Physical Dimensions: 43.8 × 32.9 cm (17 1/4 × 12 15/16 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Black and white chalk on blue-gray paper; squared in black chalk
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 97.GB.32
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Charles-Antoine Coypel (French, 1694 - 1752)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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