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Two Studies of Flutist and Head of a Boy
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Jean-Antoine Watteau
French, about 1716 - 1719
Red, black, and white chalk on buff-colored paper
8 7/16 x 13 3/16 in.
88.GB.3

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This sheet of three studies shows two views of a man playing a flute next to the head of a boy looking on. Jean-Antoine Watteau observed the flutist from life and captured his expression of keen concentration as he blows his breath through pursed lips and the elegant movement of his fingers on the keys of the instrument.

Watteau was a master of the technique known in French as trois crayons, a combination of red, black, and white chalks, usually on tinted paper. Here he suggested texture by the play of light on drapery and other details such as the shape of the musician's long, tapered fingers, the sweep of his wavy hair, and the softness of the white lace around his wrists.