Paul Cézanne: Hortense Fiquet Sewing

Paul Cézanne (1839–1906)
Hortense Fiquet (Madame Cézanne) Sewing
c. 1880
Graphite
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978 

In this pencil drawing of his companion and future wife, Cézanne explored the compositional possibilities of line and blank space. He laid in the figure with a combination of blocks of shading and blank areas. Daringly, the central section around the sitter's hands is left bare, although it is apparent that she is sewing; the viewers must therefore complete the picture in their mind's eye.