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Antoine Watteau

Antoine Watteau (1684–1721)
Seated Young Woman
Black, red, and white chalk on oatmeal-colored paper
6 7/8 x 8 1/8 inches (174 x 206 mm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene V. Thaw; 2000.53
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This sheet is one of at least seven surviving drawings grouped as a series that eventually developed into Woman at Her Toilet, the painting of about 1719, now in the Wallace Collection, London. At first the model was fully dressed seated in a chaise longue (Fondation Custodia, Paris); then she was sketched partially undressed and apparently asleep on the chair. In three studies, including this one, the model is clad only in her chemise. Here, Watteau eliminated the chaise and brought the model—arranged in a complicated pose, leaning forward attentively—into heightened focus, concentrating on the play of light on her bare legs and shoulders.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.