Black chalk, heightened with white chalk
Support: Gray laid paper
Overall: 58.4 x 41.9 cm (23 x 16 1/2 in.)
Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2008.339
Drawing the male nude from a live model was the cornerstone of artistic training at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris. Louis de Boullogne was a professor there the year he made this drawing, and it may well record the pose he set during one of the life classes he supervised. The posing of two models together was established as a monthly practice at the Academy in 1706 and normally occurred during the last week of the month. The use of two men instead of one allowed the professor to suggest a narrative more easily. Here, their interaction implies a warrior dying in battle being supported by a companion.
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