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The Charitable Woman (La Dame de Charité)
Jean-Baptiste Greuze (French, 1725 - 1805)
1772 to 1775
Brush and brown ink and brush and gray and brown wash, heightened with white gouache on blue paper
48.9 × 66 cm (19 1/4 × 26 in.)
A woman encourages a hesitant young girl to present a purse of money to a bedridden couple, who lean forward to express their gratitude. While the mother urges her child to hand the purse to the old man, a
Greuze produced The Charitable Woman as a compositional study for a painting of the same name,now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon. Prior to making this drawing, he made numerous studies of individual figures, such as the Study of the Head of an Old Woman,who is one of the principal characters in this scene. These carefully rendered drawings provide evidence of Greuze's working methods and testify to his careful preparation.