The Private Academy

painting of man sketching a female nude model in repose, circa 1755

Gabriel de Saint-Aubin (1724–1780)
The Private Academy, ca. 1755
Oil on panel
13 1/2 x 15 in. (34.3 x 38.1 cm)
Gift of Irene Roosevelt Aitken (2008.1.01)

In the fall of 2008, the Frick announced the acquisition of the museum’s first painting by Gabriel de Saint-Aubin. At the time of the announcement, then Associate Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator Colin B. Bailey commented,  “We are thrilled to see this wonderful work take its place alongside acquisitions of the past two decades―among them paintings by Watteau and Liotard―that extend the representation at The Frick Collection of the major artists of the Ancien Régime. Saint-Aubin is known primarily as a draftsman, and his paintings are relatively rare. Until now, none belonged to any museums in New York City. Saint-Aubin was the subject of a critically acclaimed special exhibition in 2007, organized by the Frick in collaboration with the Louvre. This work, The Private Academy, was one of the highlights of the exhibition and now returns permanently to the Frick as the gift of Irene Roosevelt Aitken, a longtime supporter of the institution.”