Study of a Nude Man Holding Bottles

Artist: Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne)

Date: ca. 1715–16

Medium: Black, red, and white chalk.

Dimensions: 10 7/8 x 8 7/8 in. (27.7 x 22.6 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971

Accession Number: 1972.118.238

Description

The four large oval paintings of the Seasons commissioned by Pierre Crozat (1665–1740) for his Paris dining room constitute rare examples of mythological subjects in Watteau's oeuvre. The painting Autumn, known today only through engravings, depicted a standing satyr pouring wine for a seated Bacchus. This sheet is one of two known studies (the other is in the Courtauld Institute Galleries, London) for the figure of the standing satyr. The New York drawing must have been the earliest, made before Watteau decided to bend the satyr's pouring arm to better suit the oval format. Red, black, and white chalk are intuitively combined to produce the appropriately ruddy flesh tones of the satyr.

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