The White Savage

Lequeu’s provocatively titled, objectifying study of female buttocks combines near-clinical accuracy with pornographic intent. He labeled parts of the body (“the anus,” “the rump”) while commenting on the physical attributes of his model (“well-formed buttocks,” “firm thighs”). This type of sheet, drawn from life, might have been created in sessions like the one Lequeu described in a 1795 account of his whereabouts during a royalist uprising: “At nine o’clock the citizens Anne-Marie- Catherine Remy and Françoise Thouvenin . . . came to my place to model [and] I occupied myself by drawing several attitudes until three in the afternoon.”

Jean-Jacques Lequeu (1757–1826)
The White Savage, ca. 1795
Pen and black ink, gray and brown wash, watercolor
Bibliothèque nationale de France, Departement des Estampes et de la photographie