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Study of a Reclining Nude
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François Boucher
French, 1732 - 1735
Red and white chalk on oatmeal paper; strips of paper added at top and bottom edges
12 3/16 x 9 11/16 in.
84.GB.21

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As a young woman twists to look backward over her shoulder, she displays the voluptuous curves of her nude body. With her left arm hidden behind her torso, her right arm balances on the bolster pillow that supports her breast.

In this simple sketch, François Boucher filled the model's body with a sense of motion and vitality even in repose, showing his mastery of line. From her twisting toes, bent forward to support her weight, to her tilted head and the muscular arms that prop up her body, Boucher captured the energy and poise required to hold this position. His strokes emphasize the sensuous lines of her body, while darker lines beneath her legs create a sense of depth and setting.

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