Emilienne Cesil-Biegler, the girl who posed for this painting, was among Bouguereau's favorite models during this period and appeared in most of his works painted between 1865 and 1867, among them La prière (1865, Private Collection), L’oiseau chéri (1867, Yamadera Goto Museum, Japan) and La reveil (1865, Private Collection, see lot 614 for reduction). Born in 1859, she was the daughter of Bouguereau's housemaid.
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