The J. Paul Getty Museum

Two Seated Men

Object Details

Title:

Two Seated Men

Artist/Maker:

Nicolas Lancret (French, 1690 - 1743)

Culture:

French

Date:

about 1725–1730

Medium:

Red, black and white chalk

Object Number:

97.GB.31

Dimensions:

24.4 × 31.9 cm (9 5/8 × 12 9/16 in.)

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Object Description

Using a delicate pattern of red chalk lines to illustrate the play of light on the folds of the two men's clothing, Nicolas Lancret portrayed an elegant courtier on the left and a flutist on the right. Black chalk strokes define the elements of emphasis: the rippling folds on their breeches and cloak and each man's little nose and mouth. White lines add touches of silvery highlights to the costumes. Like his idol and rival Jean-Antoine Watteau, Lancret particularly favored the effects of combining three colors of chalk in the technique known as trois crayons. Among the many artists who imitated the brilliant flickering style of Watteau's chalk work, Lancret mastered it best and developed it into a personal idiom, evolving strokes that were looser and more ethereal than those of Watteau.

Lancret probably sketched the figures as a life study, not in preparation for a particular painting. Later, when he required a particular gesture or movement for one of his paintings, he would have referred back to his drawings.

Provenance
Provenance
-

Art Market (London)

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Red Chalk Drawings (March 16 to May 30, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 16 to May 30, 1999
Carmontelle's Transparency: An 18th Century Motion Picture (2000) (March 14 to May 28, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 14 to May 28, 2000
French Drawings in the Age of Greuze (September 10 to December 1, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 10 to December 1, 2002
Rococo to Revolution: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings from Los Angeles Collections (July 1 to September 21, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 1 to September 21, 2014