This drawing and those in lots 86 and 87 are all figure studies that surely originate from larger sheets containing multiple figures. It is evident in all three lots that the sheets have been cut down and in some cases small areas have been silhouetted against the backing paper. The process of cutting the sheets to obtain individual figures was common practice among collectors. Sometimes these single figure studies were later reassembled, like a collage, as in the sheet of Studies of figures from the Roman streets
, sold in 1999.1
That sheet also came from the collection of Louis Deglatigny, whom Lugt recorded as owning a series of Hubert Robert drawings that were eventually dispersed through his various posthumous sales in 1937.
Robert made these figure studies to build up, in time-honoured fashion, a repertory of poses to which he could look for examples to use in both his paintings and drawings; see lots 86 and 87 for examples of such connections with finished compositions.
1. Sale, New York, Christie's, 28 January 1999, lot 146