Léon Delachaux (1850-1919) was a French painter of Swiss origin. At the age of eighteen, he emigrated to the United States and obtained its citizenship. In 1884 he returned to France where he studied painting with Ernest Duez and Pascal Dagnan–Bouveret. Since then he has exhibited at European Salons. In his work he dealt with genre painting and portraiture. Initially, he was inspired by peasant themes, then focused on portraying young girls and women, which brought him popularity.
Description of the painting:
The work depicts a profile view of a girl. The model is wearing a black cloak with a collar. The girl‘s face is light, with a natural expression. Her long, shoulder–length blond hair is tied up above her forehead. The background is monochromatic, in shades of brown.
The artist portrays the head of a child in detail. The profile line is sharp, clearly separated from the dark background. The face brightens with a ray of light coming from the right edge of the image. He meticulously conveys the texture and color of the hair. At the bottom, they are golden, becoming more muted and dark. It seems that through this color differentiation, the artist wanted to capture the moment of the girl‘s growing up. Her gaze is also devoid of childish carelessness, but rather focused, almost melancholic. Showing the model in a black outfit without details, on a single, dark background makes the work a synthetically presented study of a head.