1919, Janniot has been studying for several years at the Ecole de Beaux Arts, Paris in the atelier of the sculptor, Injalbert. The same year he receives the Grand Prix de Rome—a grant to study for four years at the Académie des Beaux Arts of Rome, housed in the famous Villa Médicis.
In the end of his first academic year, 1921, he creates a directly carved pink marble sculpture titled “Tête idéale“. According to academics, it qualifies as “neo-archaic”. Her purity immediately evokes ancient Greece. Intricately sculpted hair, references Roman busts that also were depicted with thick curls. So does her Roman nose and almond shaped eyes. The use of color on the lips of the women is a surprising reference to the timeworn color found on the bas-reliefs of the Pantheon. Her elongated neck and the face itself were inspired by Quattro-cento’s classicism and Fontainebleau mannerism. However, Jean Dupas’ influences remain the most important.
Janniot made several preparatory plaster drafts for the marble version, ours seemingly being the very first one. The sculpture will remain in artist’s studio until finally being acquired right before his death.