Drawing of a Woman William-Adolphe Bouguereau Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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William-Adolphe Bouguereau displays his skills as a draughtsman in this beautiful portrait drawing

Very little is known about this particular artwork, with drawing studies regularly being seen as less significant than their oil counterparts. The medium is also particularly fragile which explains why so few have survived over the centuries that have passed since his career finished.

The fact that the artist signed this drawing means that he not only considered it finished but also was happy with the outcome. He would append white touches to draw out key lines, often to give the impression of light across the face and clothing. The rest of the work would be darker lines to show the outlines of the figure and face, with areas of flesh left blank and coming through as the colour of the paper.

This model is not seen elsewhere in his work where as others, particularly the younger girls, can be found time and time again. This lady was dressed with clothes that enabled detail below her chin with pretty frills, but that is where this shoulder length portrait finished. He is not likely to have spent much time in putting this together as detail is minimal compared to some of his other drawings.

There is a likelihood that this portrait was completed as a study for a more complex oil painting though whether the same model was used for that is not clear. The sketch has also not been included in published research into his career, leaving very little information available.