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Study for "Young Lady in a Boat", c. 1869-1870

James Tissot
French, 1836 - 1902
graphite on buff wove paper, laid down on green wove paper, laid down on cardboard
25.3 x 24.3 cm
Purchased 1976
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.

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