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Composition with Four Figures

Jacques Louis David French

Not on view

During his final decade, spent in exile in Brussels, David produced a large body of enigmatic drawings: expressive partial figures, depicted singly or in groups, without clear narrative or function. In a recently discovered 1818 letter to a student, David describes this body of work with pride. Begun as "caprices," or drawings made following no particular logic, they increasingly took on a seriousness of purpose. Difficult to decipher today, they evoke the compelling characters that had peopled his history paintings, filtered through the distorting lens of memory.

Composition with Four Figures, Jacques Louis David (French, Paris 1748–1825 Brussels), Black chalk

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