ARTIST'S NATIONALITY French MATERIAL/MEDIUM pen and ink and gray wash, over charcoal, heightened with white, on paper PROVENANCE Richard L. Feigen & Co. Inc., New York CATALOGUE NOTE The legend of Ossian was the invention of the Scots poet James Macpherson. In 1762 he claimed to have rediscovered the works of a Gaelic warrior-poet, when, in fact, the poems were entirely his own work. The present drawing illustrates a scene from The Songs of Selma. Armin, a warrior chieftain from the mythical island of Gorma, is helpless, watching his son Arindal drown in an attempt to rescue Daura, his (Arindal's) sister, who is tied to a rock in the sea. By morning, she would also be dead. At the far left is Erath, who had captured Daura and bound her. Girodet first became interested in Ossian when he was commissioned to paint Ossian and the French Generals in 1800. The work marked his final break with David, whose studio he had worked in since late 1783 or early 1784. Girodet's continuing interest in the poem was reflected in the painting of the Death of Malvina and illustrations, such as the present drawing. Eight related drawings are in the Musée Girodet, in Montargis, and there are others in public and private collections.