Servant Knitting

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Charcoal and black chalk drawing of knitting woman seated by table

François Bonvin (1817–1887) 
Servant Knitting, 1861
Charcoal and black chalk with stumping and erasing on beige laid paper 
15 11/16 x 12 5/16 in. (39.8 x 31.3 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 2012.12

A woman in a humble interior concentrates on her knitting. Bonvin’s precise handling of chalk and charcoal captures the play of light and shadow on her face and pristine white apron. Emulating seventeenth-century Dutch genre paintings, Bonvin produced many such scenes of daily life to great acclaim.