Charcoal with red and white chalk and stumping
Support: Light gray laid paper (possibly faded from blue), laid down on beige laid paper, framing lines in brown ink
Sheet: 37.4 x 26.2 cm (14 3/4 x 10 5/16 in.)
Bequest of Muriel Butkin 2008.363
Like the sheet shown nearby by Greuze, this drawing belongs to a type of work known as an expressive head (tête d'expression). Capturing the representation of a specific emotion on the human face became a standard exercise for artists in France and was especially popular during the second half of the 1700s. In 1758, a special prize for drawing the expressive head was established at the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Although we have no documentation regarding the specific emotion Taraval wanted to capture here, the work may represent admiration or adoration.
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