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Storied Past

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Study of a Man

1730s
18th century
16.83 cm x 13.65 cm (6 5/8 in. x 5 3/8 in.)

Nicolas Lancret (Paris, 1690 - 1743, Paris) Primary

Object Type: drawing
Artist Nationality: Europe, French
Medium and Support: Black and white chalks on gray laid paper
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, The Suida-Manning Collection, 2017
Accession Number: 2017.1200

Although trained as a history painter, Lancret was inspired by a period in Gillot’s studio and contact with Watteau. Scenes of pastoral genre and allegory in contemporary dress––the master’s fêtes galantes––became the staple of his activity. This drawing is typical of his preparatory studies for paintings. The spontaneous pose, vigorous handling and pervasive light depend upon Watteau’s example, but the greater economy and combination of black and white chalks distinguishes his own hand.

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