Jean de Saint-Igny
Rouen circa 1600-after 1649 Paris
A Seated Female Figure

PROVENANCE: Collection Desjardins, France.

Paris, Hotel Drouot, 23 January 1980, (as Bellange).

With Adolphe Stein, Paris.

Red chalk, watermark Pot (close to Gaudriault no. 886, dated circa 1597-1601)

235 x 178 mm. (9 x 7 in.)

Our drawing has been recently accepted as by Saint-Igny by Jacques Thuillier2, however Dr. Hilliard Goldfarb, who has seen a photograph of the present drawing, acknowledges the relationship between our drawing and those accepted as by Saint-Igny3. However he believes that our drawing is by an artist who was working close to Georges Lallemant and Saint-Igny, and working along a Paris-Rouen axis. He compares the drawing to one of a female figure formerly in the Polakovits collection4. Goldfarb writes about our drawing: 'The resemblance of your sheet to red chalk drawings standardly given to Saint-Igny is evident: the idiosyncratic proportions, contracted upper torso and lengthened lower torso, flamboyant, abstracting and somewhat disjointed chalk work.' However some scholars are prepared to accept the attribution to Saint-Igny. Single female figures are a characteristic subject of Saint-Igny5. This drawing can be clearly dated to the first half of the 17th Century due to the idiosyncratic style of this drawing and the watermark. Further research in this field may reveal more on the artists working in Saint-Igny's orbit.

Saint-Igny was a painter, draughtsman and print-maker. He was apprenticed in Rouen in 1614 and was declared a master in 1635. He spent much of his life working for the Convent des Augustines. He returned to Rouen at least twice, in 1638/9 and 1641. Saint-Igny's drawings, and certainly the artist of this drawing, were aware of the style of the second school of Fontainebleau and the prints by Jacques Bellange.

1.R. Gaudriault, Filigranes et autres caracteristiques des papiers fabriques en France aux XVIIe et XVIIIe sicles, Paris, 1995.

2.J. Thuillier, loc.cit.

3.Written communication 26 October 2000.

4.Old inventory number TR50, the drawing was not amongst those donated to the cole des Beaux-Arts, Paris.

5.H. Goldfarb, From Fontainebleau to the Louvre: French drawing from the Seventeenth Century, Ohio, 1989, pp.153-5.