This highly refined study of a sleeping young woman stands out for the shaping of the face at rest, the bosom and the arm modestly covering it, as well as for the shadows at the side of the neck conveying deep sleep and the intimate nature of the subject. All those details suggest that Leduc worked from a model, as indeed he did—in this case his wife, Marie-Louise Lebrun. A few years later, the artist drew on this drawing to paint the male figure of his Endymion and Selene, which is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada. Treated from a Symbolist perspective, the myth lent itself well to androgyny—an ideal of perfection.
© Estate of Ozias Leduc / SOCAN (2020)