Sheet: 43.1 x 28.6 cm (16 15/16 x 11 1/4 in.)
Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2008.353
Michelangelo’s masterful rendering of the male nude set the standard for many generations of artists studying in academies across Europe. Life drawings (made from nude models) became so essential to an artist’s training at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in Paris (founded in 1648 by Louis XIV) that finished drawings like these were commonly called academies.
Louis de Boullogne served as a professor of life drawing at the Royal Academy between 1694 and 1715. This work reflects the common practice of drawing from models. Here, the pose of the red chalk academie by Claude Gillot is reminiscent of the twisting male bodies on Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. Gillot may have seen prints or drawings of Michelangelo’s figures, though his model is more visually connected to the studio: for example, he drew the model’s stone perch as well as the drape tucked beneath his body.
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