Reclining Male Figure

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Object Details

Title:

Reclining Male Figure

Artist/Maker(s):

François Boucher (French, 1703 - 1770)

Culture:

French

Date:

1736

Medium:

Black, red and white chalk on blue paper

Dimensions:

27.9 x 44.1 cm (11 x 17 3/8 in.)

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A young man lies outstretched with his legs crossed, reclining on a bunched piece of fabric and strumming a lute or another stringed instrument. With his back to the viewer and his face partially hidden, the man's twisted pose rather than his identity becomes the focus of the drawing. The gathers of fabric on which he leans, the wrinkled folds of his coat, and the outstretched length of his legs all create interest and draw the viewer's eyes around the figure and into the composition.

François Boucher used a technique known as aux trois crayons, in red, black, and white chalks, which he and his contemporaries made popular in France in the 1700s. As a middle tone, he adopted the blue paper favored by Venetian artists.

A favorite painter at the French court, Boucher designed tapestries for the royal factories, Beauvais and Gobelins. He made this drawing, one of very few that survive, for his first suite of tapestries, the Fêtes italiennes.

Provenance

Art Market, [Geneva]

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (15)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (95)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Figure Drawings (December 17, 1996 to April 6, 1997) (95)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), December 17, 1996 to April 6, 1997
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (95)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
Watteau and His World: French Drawings from 1700 to 1750 (October 19, 1999 to May 8, 2000) (50; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • National Gallery of Canada, (Ottawa), February 11 to May 8, 2000
French Drawings from the Age of Greuze (September 10 to December 1, 2002) (50; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), September 10 to December 1, 2002
Mise-en-Page: The Art of Composing on Paper (December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003) (50; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003
The Poetry of Paper (July 23 to October 20, 2013) (50; Catalogue by A. Wintermute)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 23 to October 20, 2013