French artist Pierre-Paul Prud'hon (1758-1823) is best known as a painter of mythological and allegorical subjects that impressed his younger contemporaries Theodore Gericault and Eugene Delacroix. Fully as deserving of attention is a series of exquisite chalk studies - known as academies - that he made throughout his career. These drawings of male and female nudes - many of which have never before been published - are the focus of this beautiful and unique book. In his text, John Elderfield first discusses Prud'hon's life and work, examining the complexities and contradictions of his career and his singular place in the art of his time, including his role in the creation of the modern female nude. Then he considers the drawings themselves. Following the text are fifty-seven of Prud'hon's finest drawings - reproduced in full color - carefully selected and arranged by Robert Gordon to unfold in a visual display of gesture and form. The book concludes with the author's notes and a selected bibliography.