This magnificent portrait has been judged by a number of top experts and master artists, to be one of the greatest portrait heads ever painted ... by any artist ... ever.
Gabriel Cot was the daughter of Bouguereau's most famous student, Pierre August Cot. Bouguereau was planning to use her for one of his major paintings, and so he started this as a study for that painting, but, as he worked, he was so captivated by Gabriel's beauty, including her intense inner beauty, that he finished it as one of his only un-commissioned portraits.
I know of no other work that better exemplifies how this master captured the subtle nuances of personality and mood.
female portraitoil on canvas