Nude Study, Reclining on the Ground
Jean-Antoine Julien, called Julien de Parme (1736-1799)
1772, Oil on paper
This signed and dated work represents a study for the figure of a dead warrior who appears in the foreground in Combat between the Romans and Sabines interrupted by the Sabine women, a large painting by Julien de Parme commissioned by a merchant from Antwerp, Jacques-Nicolas Diercxsens (now in the Magnani Rocca Foundation in Mamiano). The true name and origins of the artist, who signed his name 'de Parme' in honour of his patron, the minister du Tillot, is unknown. We learn from his Autobiographie of 1794 that in 1747, at the age of 12, he went to France to study, with the blessing of his mother, who had understood his abilities, and that in 1756, he finally went to Paris, after having stayed in other cities in the country. Between 1760 and 1773, he was in Rome, and sent a painting to the court of Parma every year, in accordance with an agreement with Guillaume du Tillot, thus receiving a stipend from the court of Parma. He later returned definitively to Paris, following du Tillot, who was a patron of the artist until his death.