The Remedy
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Jean-Antoine Watteau
French, Paris, about 1716 - 1717
Red, black, and white chalk
9 3/16 x 14 5/8 in.

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A young woman lies on her bed, provocatively displayed in the nude, while a nurse leans attentively over her, ready to administer an enema. Jean-Antoine Watteau drew the scene with perfect mastery, using a subtle patterning of red, black and white chalk lines to create shadows and highlights. In drawings such as this one, he made this technique, known as trois crayons, famous. He sketched the nurse's head twice, trying two different angles over another study of the model's head.

Watteau made this highly finished drawing in preparation for a painting now in the Norton Simon Museum. The severely trimmed painting lacks the nurse and severs the nude below her knees.