Michel Dumas (French, 1812–1885)
Head of a Youth: Study for The Parting of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Before Their Martyrdom, ca. 1852
Black chalk, stumped, heightened with white on wove paper, 21 1/2 x 19 1/4 in.
Signed lower right: Mle Dumas
Gift of DeCourcy E. McIntosh
This fine study of the head of a youth for The Parting of Saint Peter and Saint Paul Before Their Martyrdom (1852, Musée du Louvre, Paris) reveals the careful preparation required for a finished academic work. Numerous drawings for each figure were done before painting began. Dumas began his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, then entered the École in Paris in 1834, where he studied with Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780–1867). From 1878 he directed the art school in Lyon, where he was a professor of painting until his death. He specialized in religious subjects, but also painted portraits and landscapes.