Jean-Antoine Watteau: Satyr Pouring Wine

black, red, and white chalk drawing of nude man holding bottle

Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684–1721)
Satyr Pouring Wine
Black, red, and white chalk
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

Watteau rarely made preparatory drawings for specific figures in his paintings, but this vigorous study of a satyr with wineskins in both hands is an exception. It relates to a lost composition of Autumn, part of a decorative series of the Four Seasons commissioned for the dining room of the banker Pierre Crozat. The paintings were intended to be viewed from below, which dictated the curve of the satyr's body and his intense downward gaze.

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