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Black and white chalk (both stumped)
Support: Blue laid paper
Sheet: 61.9 x 43.6 cm (24 3/8 x 17 3/16 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1961.318.b
Pierre-Paul Prud'hon was raised in the Cluny abbey by monks, who recognized and encouraged his artistic talent as a boy.
This sheet is notable in its presentation of a woman, specifically one of Pierre-Paul Prud’hon’s favorite models, Marguerite—known for her curly hair and striking appearance. Following the artist’s death, more than 100 drawings were discovered in his studio, each portraying a closely studied nude figure like those shown here. The context of these works remains unclear: artists typically sketched from a model early in their training, but Prud’hon did so as a well-established painter. He saw drawing as a solitary practice, working consistently with white and black chalks on a paper described by one critic as “moonlit blue.”
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