Marie-Francoise C D 'Fanny' Corbaux, The Pretty Gleaner

Marie-Francoise C D 'Fanny' Corbaux, The Pretty Gleaner

This charming drawing by British artist Marie-Francoise C D 'Fanny' Corbaux (1812-1883) depicts a gleaner carrying a bundle of straw and a sickle. It’s the earliest work we can find by this important female artist.

Fanny Corbaux produced this elegant little work at the age of 9, which seems astonishing given its level of detail. Note the careful attention to the trees, the way she’s captured the demure expression and the hand placed towards the heart. Each element demonstrating her precocious talent.

As you can imagine, her career flourished quickly and she was winning awards by the age of 15. And then by 25, she had illustrated Thomas Moore’s Pearls of the East - with her sister producing lithographs.

It’s interesting to consider why she produced this little drawing and what inspired her. Perhaps it was a scene conjured up by her imagination or maybe she knew the subject well.

Throughout her career, she maintained a penchant for decorative beauty - with many of her portraits depicting demure ladies gazing off into the ether. Today, several of her works are in the collection of the British Museum.

The drawing is housed within a birdseye maple frame and bears a later inscription.

Learn more about Fanny Corbaux in our directory.

Medium: Pencil and watercolour on paper
Overall size: 11½” x 9½” / 29cm x 24cm
Year of creation: c. 1821
Condition: Artwork presents well. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction highlight: £2,200 achieved for a watercolour in 1999.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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