Une élégante (Woman Strolling)

Object Details


Une élégante (Woman Strolling)


Georges Seurat (French, 1859 - 1891)




about 1884


Conté crayon on Michallet paper


31.8 x 24 cm (12 1/2 x 9 7/16 in.)

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The graceful woman in this drawing appears in the midst of a leisurely stroll, with her shadow falling beside her and one hand gently clutching the handle of her umbrella. The veil of her brimmed hat conceals her face, but her slender figure and erect posture convey that she is a refined young woman–an impression sustained by the fashionable fur-trimmed coat that envelops her.

Georges Seurat drew this elegant profile as a series of geometric volumes animated by the play of light and shade. Rather than drawing individual lines, he rubbed roughly textured paper with greasy Conté crayon, creating a large shadowy mass. By combining various densities of crayon–darker for the figure, light and feathery for the background–Seurat explored a concept he called "irradiation." According to his theory, light and dark tones mutually enhance each other as they come together. The glowing halo surrounding the poised figure exemplifies this theory.


Charles Garibaldi, Marseille

Stéphane Therne, Geneva, (before 1963)

Anton Meier, Switzerland, by descent

Chefs d'oeuvres de collections francaises (September-October 1962)
  • Galerie Charpentier, Paris, September to October, 1962, (Cat.)
To Create a Living Art: 19th Century Drawings (May 1 to July 15, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 1 to July 15, 2001, (Cat.)
Seurat and the Making of "La Grande Jatte" (June 16 to September 19, 2004)
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, June 16 to September 19, 2004, (Cat. catalogue by Robert Herbert 77; page 86)
Defining Modernity: European Drawings 1800-1900 (June 5 to September 9, 2007)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 5 to September 9, 2007, (Cat.)
The Poetry of Paper (July 23 to October 20, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 23 to October 20, 2013, (Cat.)
Related Media
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    Audio: Woman Strolling