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Pierre Puvis de Chavannes (1824–1898)
Study of a Woman’s Head, c. 1865
Graphite with stumping on beige wove paper
6 7/8 x 5 5/16 in. (17.4 x 13.5 cm)
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1955.1716
The idealized, chiseled features of the head in this study bring to mind classical sculpture, which Puvis de Chavannes emulated in much of his work. By stumping — rubbing the graphite into the grainy paper with a small roll of leather — he achieves a smooth, stone-like finish, particularly in the hair.