Jean-Siméon Chardin had the ability to infuse the most ordinary scenes of everyday life with an aura of dignity and value. In this simple drawing, a man wearing a large brimmed hat and long frock coat relaxes with his cane in his hands on a square box or stool and looks away over his right shoulder. Chardin built up the forms with a series of rapid, somewhat heavy, black lines, heightened with additional strokes of white chalk that give a sense of immediacy and vibrancy to the otherwise static image. With a few bold strokes, he established a mood of quiet contemplation generated by his own direct observation and that of the seated man, who gazes off into the distance. Chardin made this figure study in preparation for a painting.
On the verso, Chardin drew an académie, a study of a nude man, probably made during his early artistic training. All of Chardin's known drawings date from his early career, as he gave up draftsmanship by the 1730s.