standing figure with head turned to his PL and holding cape open slightly

Actor Standing with Head Turned to the Right, 1719-1720


Red chalkexpand_more

The John R. Van Derlip Fundexpand_more  69.88

Not on Viewexpand_more

Antoine Watteau’s delicate chalk drawings and poetic, sparkling cabinet paintings have been celebrated since the moment he made them. He filled sketchbooks with figure studies—countless women and men in graceful poses and stylish clothes—to create the gorgeous cast that inhabits the alluring world of his pictures.

The young man in this study appears as a flirtatious actor in one of the artist’s late paintings. Tipping his head, bowing to his left, and raising his cape, the figure strikes a theatrical pose that distills his amorous longing. The atmospheric treatment of light and shadow and the generalization of forms toward abstraction are characteristic of Watteau’s later draftsmanship.

Actor Standing with Head Turned to the Right
Artist Life
Accession Number
[Walter Schatzki, New York]; Kathleen O'Donnell Hoover, New York (in 1957); [Walter Schatzki, New York, until 1969; sold to MIA]
Catalogue Raisonne
Parker and Mathey, II, 681; Rosenberg and Prat 623
Curator Approved

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standing figure with head turned to his PL and holding cape open slightly