Nov 16, 2012
Oct 28, 2008

Head of a Boy Singing (Study for Music)

Head of a Boy Singing (Study for Music)

c. 1898

Luc-Olivier Merson

(French, 1846–1920)

Black, white, and red chalk with stumping, pricked for transfer

Support: Light brown wove paper

Sheet: 39.6 x 27.2 cm (15 9/16 x 10 11/16 in.)

Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2008.394


Did you know?

The face of the boy in this drawing is pricked extensively so that the image could be transferred directly to the final painting for which it was a study. The two works differ only in the addition of a hat on the boy's head in the final work.


This sheet was a preparatory study for the face of a singing boy who appears near the center of Music, a mural decorating the left grand staircase at the Théâtre National de l’Opéra-Comique in Paris. Drawn from life with exquisite naturalism, Luc-Olivier Merson captured the sitter’s youthful beauty with such clarity that the purity of the boy’s voice seems to emanate from the drawing.

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