Seated Female Nude

Object Details


Seated Female Nude


Adriaen van de Velde (Dutch, 1636 - 1672)




Holland (Place created)


1660 to 1670


Black chalk heightened with white chalk, on gray brown tinted paper


26.5 × 19.5 cm (10 7/16 × 7 11/16 in.)

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Who is this woman? She sits nude, her left arm outstretched while her right reaches up to grasp it, with a small cloth draped modestly across her lap. Her high forehead, small eyes, long torso, and muscular legs lead scholars to guess that Adriaen van de Velde produced this drawing from a living model rather than an idealized figure.

Choosing black chalk instead of the more traditional red, van de Velde softly shaded her body, adding delicate white heightening for the highlights. The cool colors of the black and white chalks and gray-toned paper complement the refined and delicate modeling of the figure. This subtlety contrasts with the broadly applied chalk strokes that set her off from the background. Van de Velde particularly emphasized the dark shadows beneath her legs and right arm, as well as the softer shadows around her back and upper thigh.

Figure Drawings (December 17, 1996 to April 6, 1997)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), December 17, 1996 to April 6, 1997
The Body Beautiful: Artists Draw the Nude (1440 - 1880) (December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000
Dutch Drawings of the Golden Age (May 28 to August 25, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), May 28 to August 25, 2002