Eye Candy for Today: Théodore Chassériau pencil portrait

Portrait of a Young Woman Wearing a Cloak and Bonnet, Theodore Chasseriau, graphite on wove paper
Portrait of a Young Woman Wearing a Cloak and Bonnet, Théodore Chassériau

In the Metropolitan Museum of Art; graphite on wove paper; approximately 18 x 15 in. (46 x 39 cm).

Chassériau has given us a beautifully sensitive pencil portrait. The commentary on the museum’s website suggests that Chassériau shows more interest in the subject’s garments than her face, but I have to disagree.

The face is rendered with wonderful finesse, and some of the delicacy of an etching, while the rest of the figure is more gestural and economically realized, in a manner similar to the pencil portraits of Ingres, who was Chassériau’s teacher.

 
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