This drawing is by Frank Duveneck, who in my opinion is a very underrated American realist. This was likely done in a life drawing session or from a live model. What I like about it is how it shows that even in doing a simple drawing from life, an artist can create a mood or feel from the way the media is handled. Doing so requires both facility with the media and an internalized knowledge and understanding of both form and anatomy. Being able to capture a moment like this, on the spot, and give it real feeling, is why deep study and anatomy are worth the time and effort.
This drawing, in the bottom right corner, is marked 'Paris.' So this must have been from when the artist traveled over to France from the U.S. and participated in a life drawing session there. Today, transatlantic travel is still a pretty big deal. In 1897, it was so many times more so. So another aspect of this piece is the story of an artist, at that time, crossing a much greater physical and cultural distance, and capturing (for us today) a particular moment of experience.
Back to Gallery