Seated Woman

brown terracotta sculpture of woman in a dress, seated in a chair, holding chin

Seated Woman, ca. 1830s
19 x 15.5 cm
Collection Dr. and Mrs. Michael Schlossberg

Cat. 8

David had little patience for the eroticized mythological nudes that jostled for attention each year at the Paris Salon. Accordingly, this elegant terracotta sketch depicts a woman in modern dress, possibly interrupted in the act of reading. Yet this apparently everyday moment may also be an update of the centuries-old pictorial convention of seated muses. For David, terracotta sketches were important records of an artist’s first thoughts. He presented them only to close friends who he believed could appreciate their suggestive, unfinished qualities.

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