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Study of heads and hands

Antoine Watteau

(1684 - 1721) | 822.1.76

Date : Circa 1716 | Medium : Sanguine and charcoal drawing with white and brown chalk highlights on beige paper

Unlike many of his contemporaries, Watteau perfected his compositions by selecting from an existing stock of drawings that he had previously executed without preconceived intention. Although he constantly worked with living models, his method was totally free of academic doctrine, and the figures he drew had nothing in common with the professional models who posed in studios at the time.

As so often the case, the artist has covered the entire surface of the page with unrelated studies, while doing his best to establish formal interactions among them. The drawings might not have been executed all at once, but the commonalities of their style would suggest they were executed around the same period, probably circa 1716.