Black and gray chalk, with touches of white chalk, on tan wove paper
Support: Wove paper
Image: 75.4 x 54.1 cm (29 11/16 x 21 5/16 in.); Sheet with border: 91.5 x 64.4 cm (36 x 25 3/8 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2013.47
Reflecting its personal significance to the sitter, this drawing stayed in the violinist’s family for generations.
This portrait is the most finished known work by Adrien Victor Auger, who broke from the idealized forms and historical subjects promoted by his teacher, Jacques-Louis David (whose work is nearby). In this drawing, Auger referenced contemporary Parisian cultural life, depicting the accomplished musician Jean Vidal as he embarked on an illustrious career in violin performance. Vidal is fashionably attired and gazes dreamily, signifying his modernity and artistic temperament. Auger rendered the violinist’s likeness with great detail and realism—including his slumping stockings and smooth shirt collar—by varying the density of repeated chalk marks and highlighting the paper’s tan tone with touches of white.
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