Henri Lehmann

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Henri Lehmann
Female Nude, Arms Upraised
Graphite heightened with white on gray paper.
7 1/2 x 6 1/8 in. (191 x 156 mm)
Bequest of John M. Thayer.

This study of a woman with arms raised is preparatory for the nymph in the artist's 1837 canvas Fisherman and the Nymph (Le Pecheur et la nymphe), now in the Musée des beaux-arts, Carcassonne. The painting is signed in gold, "Heinrich Lehmann, Paris 1836," and was shown at the Salon of 1837. This form of his German name occurs on paintings early in the artist's career. The canvas was executed a year after he arrived in Paris and debuted at the Salon and during a year in which he was gravely ill in the spring.
In the painting, a nymph with long blond tresses emerges from the water, lightly grasping a bough with her right hand as she looks up and beckons to a young man languidly leaning his head against his arm, which rests on the bough. In this sheet, the artist was unconcerned with details as he sought to establish the pose and contours of the nymph's figure. Lehmann would later use a variant of this pose for his series of studies and paintings devoted to the "Desolation of the Oceanids at the Foot of the Rock Where Prometheus is Chained" of 1850.

Sale, New York, Christie's, 26 October 1988, lot 327; John M. Thayer (1944-2004), Wilmington, DE.
Associated names: 

Thayer, John M. (John MacLane), 1944-2004, former owner.

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