Michel II Corneille (Paris 1642 - Paris 1708)
Studies of heads, for ‘Aspasia among the philosophers of Greece’, Château de Versailles
later attribution to Noël Coypel in the lower centre
red and black chalk
175 x 230 mm
Private collection, Paris
The sheet has not before been connected to a work by the artist. We now know it to be the sheet on which Corneille worked out the poses and expressions for his painting ‘Aspasia among the philosophers of Greece’, made in 1673 for the ceiling of the Salon des Nobles in the queen's apartment in the Château de Versailles. In 1671, when the construction of the large apartments began, Corneille had just returned from a long stay in Italy, where he had become particularly inspired with the work of Raphael.