This deeply sensuous nude is a rare reduction of what is arguably Peene's chef-d'oeuvre: Madeleine au réveil, whose life-size marble version was shown at the Paris Salon of 1893 and at the Exposition Universelle of 1900, following the exhibition of the plaster at the 1891 Salon. Bought by the French state in 1891, the marble was placed in the Tuileries Garden until 1964 and is now in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris (inv. no. RF 982).
Born in Bergues, in northernmost France, Augustin Peene debuted at the Salon in 1880. He obtained several prizes in subsequent years, including the deuxième Prix de Rome in 1881 and a bronze medal at the Exposition universelle of 1889, until he ceased exhibiting in 1902. Among his commissions outside Paris were six statues for the façade of the town hall in Dunkirk.
S. Lami, Dictionnaire des sculpteurs de l'École française, vol. 4, pp. 50-51; E. Bénézit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, Grund, 1999, vol. 10, p. 684