French school early 19th century Allegories of Prudence and Force Black chalk and white reheightened on beige paper. 201 x 152 mm – 7 15/16 x 5 15/16 in. Unreaded downward-left writing traces. Provenance : – Trace of a dry stamp at the bottom right, perhaps Alexandre-Pierre-François Robert-Dumesnil (L. 2200). This drawing presents two studies of women draped in the antique style. The one on the left, sitting and wearing a mirror, symbolizes the Prudence while the one on the right standing and leaning on a club is an allegory of the force. Prudence and Force are two concepts that belong to Greek philosophy – with Temperance and Justice – developed notably in Plato, Aristotle and Epicure, which will then be taken up by Saint Thomas Aquinas as the four cardinal virtues of Christian moral doctrine. This sheet is part of the French neoclassical artistic movement characterized by a desire to return to the purity of classical antique art.