Pierre-Paul Prud’hon, French draftsman and painter whose work bridges the Neoclassical spirit of the late 18th century and the more personal expression of 19th-century Romanticism.
Prud'hon was a keen revolutionary like his contemporary Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825). However he rejected the more austere version of the Neoclassicism that dominated late eighteenth-century Paris. His works have a sentimental appeal which found official favour in the commission to decorate the l'H?tel de Ville, in celebration of the marriage of Napoleon and Marie-Louise in 1810. For this he designed a colonnade topped by ten figures representing the arts, sciences and industry.
This female nude, emits a gentle stoicism, characteristic of the drawing Academy. She was clothed in the final scheme and personified Navigation. The drawing was bequeathed to The British Museum, along with fifteen other important French drawings, by the French dealer and scholar César Mange de Hauke .