Charles Damour

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Charles Damour
Study of a Young Roman Woman
Black chalk, with white opaque watercolor, on gray-blue paper.
17 1/4 x 10 5/8 inches (437 x 270 mm)
Purchased as the gift of Anne Bigelow Stern.

One of Ingres' many pupils at the French Academy in Rome, Damour traveled through Italy and Sicily in 1836-37. A group of Italian landscapes dated between 1840 and 1844 suggests the artist returned or remained in Italy. This sheet from November 1836 depicts a woman in traditional local dress of the type who would later enrich his landscape prints. A view of the same Italian woman, seen from behind, was sold at Artcurial, Paris, on 22 September 2021, as lot 200
The inscription indicates that the woman who posed for Damour was nicknamed "Ortolana," indicating that she was associated with a vegetable garden, perhaps a produce seller at the market. The artist's note records that she is from the seaside town of Nettuno, or Antium, a resort town for ancient Romans. The town long preserved its maritime tradition, and that the women continued to wear garments with local characteristics must have appealed to Damour.


Inscribed on verso, in pen and brown ink, at upper right, "Costume tout rouge bordé d'a [cut off] / Ceinture blanche / Pann. Blanc avec raies de roulu [cut off] / Chemisette blanche à jou"; at lower right, partially cut off, "le 30 novembre 1836"; inscribed in graphite, "d'après Nature. / Jeune femme Romaine / dite l'Ortolana, / en costume Romain de Nettuno / Rome. Ch. D. ft 30 Novembre 1836".
Watermark: Small coat of arms, shield.

Galerie Coligny, Paris.
Associated names: 

Stern, Anne Bigelow, donor.

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