Antoine Watteau

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Antoine Watteau
Two Studies of the Head and Shoulders of a Little Girl
ca. 1717-1718
Black, red, and white chalk on buff paper; drawn over black chalk sketch of legs.
7 3/8 x 9 5/8 inches (187 x 245 mm)
Purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) 1911.
I, 278b
Andrew James; his daughter, Sarah Ann James, 1878; probably her sale, London, Christie's, 22-23 June 1891; anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 16 June 1911, lot 76; Thomas Agnew & Sons, London; from whom purchased by J. Pierpont Morgan (no mark; see Lugt 1509).

New York World's Fair : Illustrated Catalogue of an Exhibition Held on the Occasion of The New York World's Fair. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1939, no. 96.
Treasures from the Pierpont Morgan Library : Fiftieth Anniversary Exhibition. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1957, no. 99, pl. 63.
Denison, Cara D., and Helen B. Mules, with the assistance of Jane V. Shoaf. European Drawings, 1375-1825. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981, no. 100, repr.
Denison, Cara D. French Drawings, 1550-1825. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984, no. 40, repr. in color (detail, front cover)
Denison, Cara D. French Master Drawings in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1993, no. 39, repr. in color, and repr. in color on front cover.
Pierre Rosenberg and Louis-Antoine Prat, "Antoine Watteau 1684-1721, Catalogue raisonné des dessins", 3 vols., Milan, 1996, II, no. 558, p. 946, repr. in color.
From Leonardo to Pollock: Master drawings from the Morgan Library. New York: Morgan Library, 2006, cat. no. 75, p. 158-159.


Watermark: none visible through lining.
There is an irregular vertical strip added to the left side of the sheet.
Watteau rarely made drawings that were directly preparatory for painted compositions. Instead, he produced a large number of sheets of studies from life of men, women, and children in various poses that he kept in his studio and used when needed. The study at right on this sheet was used for the figure of a little girl, seated at her mother's knee, listening to a concert, in the painting The Music Lesson (ca. 1717-18; Wallace Collection, London). This drawing was etched by François Boucher in "Figures de différents caractères, de paysages et d'études" (as no. 214), a compendium of 103 prints after Watteau's drawings published as tribute to the artist soon after his death.

Associated names: 

James, Andrew, former owner.
James, Sarah Ann, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.

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