This poetic drawing is evidence of Seurat’s mastery of Conté crayon, a medium that allowed him to achieve rich velvety textures and softly blurred contours, for which he became well known. The stiff, almost awkward pose of the model clearly identifies the drawing as a preparatory study for a figure in Seurat’s famous painting The Models, or Les Poseuses (Barnes Foundation, Merion, Pa.). Following Seurat’s death, this framed drawing remained in the collection of his artist friend Maximilien Luce, who used it as a still-life element in a portrait of the famous art critic and collector Félix Féneon.
The artist until 1891 and probably from the artist's estate in 1891; collection of Maximilien Luce by at least 1903, until at least 1934; possibly with Jacques Rodrigues-Henriques, Paris; consigned by A. & R. Ball, New York to M. Knoedler & Co., New York, on May 2, 1949; sold by Knoedler to Robert Lehman, New York, on June 1, 1949