Some eighty years ago the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was bequeathed a painting entitled Young Woman Drawing dating from around 1801. It was attributed to the great Neoclassical French painter Jacque-Louis David. It depicted a lovely young woman, in her mid-20s, sketching in the light from a background window containing a broken pane of glass. The work was typical of David's exquisite handling of light and delicate textures, his composition, sense of space, Classical elegance, and restraint. The critics loved it and congratulated the Met on its great good fortune in having such a masterpiece. However, in the years that followed, complex study of the work by art researchers began to cast doubt on its attribution. Eventually, the artist was found to be Marie-Denise Villers who, inasmuch as she was born in 1774, would have been the right age for the painting to have been a self-portrait. Her steady, open gaze was that of an artist peering into a mirror. As time went on, further studies indicated that there were at least NINE women artists painting around the turn of the century in Paris and much, in some cases ALL, of their work had been attributed to David. To add insult to injury, once the correct attribution had been worked out, critics began to see the Villers portrait in a different light, noticing its weaknesses - the proportions from waist to knee being not quite right and the fact that the artist had placed the woman's technically difficult drawing hand down at her side to avoid having to render it. Actually, the pose is quite pleasant, quite natural, and any anatomical peculiarities could easily be chalked up to the fashionable, high-waisted, Empire style gown she is wearing. Critics aside, in light of its being a self-portrait, we find new meaning in the painting's background, particularly the loving couple, seen through the imperfect, broken glass of the window, as they are hemmed in by a railing and building. Meanwhile, in the foreground we find the young artist, having dedicated her life to her art, in a spacious, open area seeing herself reflected by the perfect glass of a mirror.