Head of a Young Woman

Jean-Baptiste Greuze French

Not on view

Swirling clothing and hair join soulfully upturned eyes and tilted head in order to condense an emotion—perhaps sorrowful longing—typical of têtes d’expression. These expressive head studies were not only part of an artist’s academic training, but in Greuze’s day also enjoyed appeal as independent works of art. This particular pose captures the late eighteenth-century rise of Sentimentalism, a largely literary movement that pulled on readers’ emotions, which Greuze used to great visual effect. Greuze’s technical skill is also on show, from the velvety skin to the masterful use of a limited range of colors.

Head of a Young Woman, Jean-Baptiste Greuze (French, Tournus 1725–1805 Paris), Oil on canvas

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