Ludovic Alleaume had an impressive career in France as an academic artist who followed some of the important movements of the day such as Orientalism and the Art Nouveau movement. He exhibited extensively, including at the prestigious Salon des Artistes Francais and early on he studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
This head is a work that could correspond to a number of directions Alleaume took with his work. He was noted for doing portraits and these were an important part of his body of work. This is clearly a definitive study of someone that was sitting for him. He also made a trip in 1888 and spent two months in Palenstine and began to take an interest in Orientalist works. He was also noted for doing Biblical themes. A work such as this was a common practice for an academic artist to get a first feel for his subjects demeanor and very often there is a more finished version that exists. Unless this was done at an even earlier juncture and is a classroom sketch of a model. However, the collar and coat suggest a more formal portrait is in the works of being rendered.
Private Collection, Newtown, CT