Nude Study of an Old Man

Object Details


Nude Study of an Old Man


Georges Seurat (French, 1859 - 1891)




France (Place Created)


about 1878–1879


Powdered vine charcoal and charcoal with stumping and lifting on laid paper

Object Number:



48.4 × 28.5 cm (19 1/16 × 11 1/4 in.)

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By 1877 art student Seurat had advanced from copying ancient sculptures and casts to drawing from live models at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Nude Study of an Old Man was probably drawn from life, but the model is very different from the standard, muscular male nudes who appear in sketches by Seurat and other academic pupils from this period. His aged body, long beard, and topknot have led some observers to identify him as an elderly Indian man but the drawing yields few clues to his actual identity. The same model is depicted in Émile-Jules Pichot Nude Study of an Old Man (2016.81), likely also completed during a life drawing course at the École. In the years to follow, Seurat abandoned traditional styles and became known for pioneering pointillism.

Art + Ideas Podcast: Lee Hendrix on Noir


Madame Léopold Appert (Paris, France)

- 1993

Private Collection [sold, Picard, Paris, November 26, 1993, lot 2, to Jan Krugier.]

1993 - about 2008

Jan Krugier, Swiss, born Poland, 1928 - 2008

- 2014

Sotheby's (London) [sold, From Goya to Picasso: Works from the Private Collection of Jan Krugier, Sotheby's, London, February 6, 2014, lot 165, to the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Recent Acquisitions in Context (June 3 to August 24, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 3 to August 24, 2014
Noir: The Romance of Black in 19th Century French Drawings and Prints (February 9 to May 15, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 9 to May 15, 2016

Hauke, Cesar M. de, Seurat et son oeuvre (Paris: Gründ, 1961), 2 vols, vol. II, no. 282, ill. p. 21.

Herbert, Robert L. Seurat's Drawings (New York: Shorewood Publ., 1962), p. 23, no. 21.

Russel, John. Seurat (London: Thames and Hudson, 1965), no. 11, ill. p. 21.

Madeleine-Perdrillat, Alain. Seurat (New York: Rizzoli, 1990), p. 19, ill.

Hendrix, Lee, "Seurat and Pichot: Charcoal Life Drawings of an Indian Holy Man". Master Drawings 53, no.4 (2015), pp. 519-522, pp. 519-22.

Hendrix, Lee, ed. Noir: The Romance of Black in the 19th-Century French Drawings and Prints, exh. cat. (Los Angeles: The J. Paul Getty Museum, 2016), p. 162, no. 59, fig. 59.

Related Media
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    Audio: Indian Holy Man