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
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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