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Portrait of a Woman

Artist:
Eastman Johnson (American, Lovell, Maine 1824–1906 New York)
Date:
ca. 1871
Medium:
Charcoal and white chalk heightening on light brown textured wove paper
Dimensions:
18 7/16 x 12 5/16 in. (46.8 x 31.3 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1946
Accession Number:
46.22.2
Not on view
Johnson developed drawing skills as an apprentice in a Boston lithography shop and perfected that talent over years of taking portrait likenesses on paper and artistic study in Düsseldorf, The Hague, and Paris. He was especially adept at handling charcoal and chalk, and this skill is evident in the present drawing. As was characteristic of his technique, Johnson sketched the woman’s neckline and dress in relatively rough, unblended strokes of charcoal and chalk, so that the contrast between the sitter’s head and body is striking. The drawing is a tour de force of draftsmanship, notable for the accomplished handling of difficult media.
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