Two Studies of a Flutist and a Study of the Head of a Boy

Object Details

Title:

Two Studies of a Flutist and a Study of the Head of a Boy

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean-Antoine Watteau (French, 1684 - 1721)

Culture:

French

Place(s):

France (Place created)

Date:

about 1716 - 1717

Medium:

Red, black, and white chalk on buff-colored paper

Dimensions:

21.4 x 33.5 cm (8 7/16 x 13 3/16 in.)

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This sheet of three studies shows two views of a man playing a flute next to the head of a boy looking on. Jean-Antoine Watteau observed the flutist from life and captured his expression of keen concentration as he blows his breath through pursed lips and the elegant movement of his fingers on the keys of the instrument.

Watteau was a master of the technique known in French as trois crayons, a combination of red, black, and white chalks, usually on tinted paper. Here he suggested texture by the play of light on drapery and other details such as the shape of the musician's long, tapered fingers, the sweep of his wavy hair, and the softness of the white lace around his wrists.

Provenance

R. Brisart (Ghent)

Andrew James (London), , London

Sarah Ann James (London), by descent

Stephan Bourgeois, (?)

Camille Groult, 1837 - 1908

Jean Groult, French, 1868 - 1951 (Paris), by descent

Pierre Bordeaux-Groult, by descent

Private Collection (Paris)

Art Market (New York)

June 23, 1891

Christie's (London), her sale (lot 335)

Exhibitions
European Masters of the Eighteenth Century (1954 to 1955)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), 1954 to 1955, (Cat. 282)
Watteau 1684-1721 (June 1984 to May 1985)
  • Schloss Charlottenberg, (Berlin), June, 1984 to May, 1985, (Cat. 82)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), June, 1984 to May, 1985, (Cat. 82)
  • Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, (Paris), June, 1984 to May, 1985, (Cat. 82)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993, (Cat. 116)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994, (Cat. 116)
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998, (Cat.)
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, (Cat.)
Watteau and His World: French Drawings from 1700 to 1750 (October 19, 1999 to May 8, 2000)
  • National Gallery of Canada, (Ottawa), February 11 to May 8, 2000, (Cat. Catalogue by A. Wintermute 35)
Work and Play: Everyday Life in Drawings; 1520 - 1820 (July 31 to October 14, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 31 to October 14, 2001, (Cat.)
French Drawings from 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, (Cat.)
Mise-en-Page: The Art of Composing on Paper (December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003, (Cat.)
Antoine Watteau: Virtuosity and Delight (March 12 to June 5, 2011)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), March 12 to June 5, 2011, (Cat.)
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, (Cat.)