Study of a Female Figure with a Putto (recto); Study of a Male Nude (verso)

Object Details


Study of a Female Figure with a Putto (recto); Study of a Male Nude (verso)


Simon Vouet (French, 1590 - 1649)




France (Place created)


about 1630 - 1635


Black chalk with white chalk


38.7 × 21.7 cm (15 1/4 × 8 9/16 in.)

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From this low point of view, this nude female figure draped with a cloth appears large and strong. She seems to be considering something in front of her, tilting her head sideways as she reaches out and steps forward. The putto who clings to her leg for protection also gazes off to the left. Simon Vouet experimented with the position of her outstretched arm, first drawing it in at a higher level before partially erasing it and starting again.

Vouet applied black chalk in long grace strokes, describing the gentle curves of the woman's arms and body with strong outlines and subtle shading. The shading enhances the impression of mass and solidity. Dark shadows that extend backwards from the feet of both figures also contribute to the illusion of weight and mass.

In the male nude on verso, Vouet drew a similarly monumental figure seen from slightly below and readjusted the position of the figure's right arm. He used the empty space between the man's legs to draw the feet, which he was unable to fit at the end of the legs.


Marquis Charles-Philippe de Chennevières


François Heim

November 22, 1985

Hôtel Drouot, [lot 4]


Art Market (London)

The Power of Myth: European Mythological Drawings of the 15th through the 19th Century (October 12 to December 26, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 12 to December 26, 1993
Classicism and Neoclassicism in French Drawing, 1600-1860 (October 25, 1994 to January 8, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), October 25, 1994 to January 8, 1995
Drawing the Classical Figure (December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009