Study of a Female Figure with a Putto (recto); Study of a Male Nude (verso)
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Simon Vouet
French, about 1630 - 1635
Black chalk with white chalk
15 1/4 x 8 9/16 in.

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From this low point of view, this nude female figure draped with a cloth appears large and strong. She seems to be considering something in front of her, tilting her head sideways as she reaches out and steps forward. The putto who clings to her leg for protection also gazes off to the left. Simon Vouet experimented with the position of her outstretched arm, first drawing it in at a higher level before partially erasing it and starting again.

Vouet applied black chalk in long grace strokes, describing the gentle curves of the woman's arms and body with strong outlines and subtle shading. The shading enhances the impression of mass and solidity. Dark shadows that extend backwards from the feet of both figures also contribute to the illusion of weight and mass.

In the male nude on verso, Vouet drew a similarly monumental figure seen from slightly below and readjusted the position of the figure's right arm. He used the empty space between the man's legs to draw the feet, which he was unable to fit at the end of the legs.

Detail Views

Collector's mark

Other Views

Verso: Study of a Male Nude
Verso: Study of a Male Nude