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Two Studies of Mezzetino StandingEnlarge image

Two Studies of Mezzetino Standing, c. 1717

Jean-Antoine Watteau
French, 1684 - 1721
red chalk on laid paper
17.7 x 18.9 cm
Purchased 1939
National Gallery of Canada (no. 4548)

Dressed in a costume of a character from the "commedia dell'arte", the model of this sketch in red chalk is akin to one of the figures from the 1717-1718 painting, "The Outdoor Gathering". The figure seen from the back in this drawing, which once belonged to Watteau's biographer Dezallier d'Argenville, was reproduced in the same position in prints by Jean-Charles François (1717-1769) and Gilles Demarteau (1722-1776), two craftsmen who had become masters in the art of printing "en manière de crayon". Watteau was considered an exceptionally talented draughtsman by his contemporaries.

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