This charming painting is a rare work from Blanche's youth and can be dated to 1882 or 1883. During these years, Blanche worked in Henri Gervex's studio although he considered himself a disciple of Edouard Manet, who did not take on many students and was already fatally ill. Despite his inability to work with Manet directly, his earlier works, such as the present lot exhibit the painterly quick strokes seen in Manet's portraits of children.
Blanche also visited England during this time, thanks to his new friend Walter Sickert, where he had the opportunity to meet James Tissot and the American James Whistler, both of whom influenced his work. In his early works, Blanche concentrates on the themes of childhood; infants, teachers, musicians and nurses. The sitter in Petite fille au chiot is part of this group. The technique and composition of the present work is similar to Contemplation, in the Museum of St. Petersburg in Florida that dates to 1883.
Ms. Jane Roberts has confirmed the authenticity of the present lot and will include this work in her forthcoming Blanche catalogue raisonné.
Please see lot 24 for further information on the artist.