Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Seated Woman

Artist:
Antoine Watteau (French, Valenciennes 1684–1721 Nogent-sur-Marne)
Date:
1716–17
Medium:
Black, red and white chalk
Dimensions:
9 7/16 x 5 7/16 in. (24 x 13.8 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.763
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 964
One of the most brilliant and innovative draftsmen of the eighteenth century, Watteau was an early exponent of the "trois-crayons" or "three-chalk" technique, which allowed his drawings to approach the rich coloristic effects of painting. This fetching study of a seated woman is a consummate example of his mastery of the technique. Freely mixing red, black, and white chalk, he captured the young woman's loosely pinned-up hair, luminous flesh tones, and the sheen of her dress. The Lehman sheet is not known to be a preparatory study for a painting, but the model does reappear in at least one other drawing by the artist. Her gesture is not easily understood, although her elegance and charming lack of self-consciousness come through clearly.
Schwab, Manchester (1957); [Schaeffer Galleries, New York]; acquired by Robert Lehman in 1958
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