|Madame Paul Helleu, 1894, pastel on blue paper, 48 x 31 cm, Musée d'Orsay, Paris|
A women of the utmost elegance and grace, Madame Alice Helleu (the artist's wife) reclines on a chair. Perhaps after a long evening among the Parisian aristocracy, she stills wears her fashionable evening dress and gloves.
This intimate portrait is exquisitely drawn with a pale averted face, dark contours and expert, loose colouring. The result is a small but captivating image of a tender moment at the end of a day.