Likely executed during a life drawing class, this early work shows Seurat developing his distinctive drawing style. The figure, whose pose suggests she is leaning on a chair, emerges from the network of vigorous crayon marks that have been built up to form a subtle contrast between light and dark.
To achieve the rich blacks, Seurat used a coarsely textured paper that caught the oily Conté crayon as it was dragged across the surface. He avoided harsh outlines, instead shaping the volume of the figure from masses of light and shadow. It is the extraordinary atmosphere of this drawing that gives this work its power, with the stillness of the figure captured through dense layers of sinuous lines that almost vibrate with energy.
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