Study for "Young Lady in a Boat", c. 1869-1870
graphite on buff wove paper, laid down on green wove paper, laid down on cardboard
25.3 x 24.3 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 18556)
This drawing of an elegant courtesan captured in a relaxed pose is a study for "Young Lady in a Boat", a painting that Jacques Joseph Tissot (known as James Tissot) showed at the 1870 Salon. The artist uses a flowing line to render the young woman's full skirt, and devotes particular attention to his subject's face, propped on a slender hand, the little finger touching the corner of her mouth.
Tissot's paintings were admired - and criticized - under Napoleon III for their hyper realistic and attractive, one might say seductive, depictions of modern life, in a style suggestive of the eighteenth century.