Jean-Antoine Watteau: Carmelite Friar, Standing

black and red chalk drawing of standing man with large dark hat

Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721)
Carmelite Friar, Standing
c. 1715
Black and red chalk
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

As the empty bag over his left shoulder suggests, this young lay brother of the Discalced Carmelite order is setting out to collect alms. Watteau first outlined the figure in red chalk before working up the contours in red and black, using both chalks as well as the neutral tone of the paper to suggest the various layers and folds of the friar's woolen habit, as well as the light falling across his downcast eyes and double chin.

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