Thomas Hovenden, Study of a Brenton Soldier

Graphite on paper
Credit Line
Woodmere Art Museum: Gift of Mr. Stiles Tuttle Colwill, 2018
11 in. x 17 ½ in.

After completing his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the mid-1870s, Thomas Hovenden spent three years living and working at the artist colony in Pont-Aven. During this time, he matured as a painter, improving his figural painting and exploring new subjects and themes. Pont-Aven had many willing models, including the Breton soldiers captured in this drawing.

Here Hovenden captures three soldiers from three different angles. They all wear wide brimmed hats, coats, and trousers, and sport facial hair. The soldier facing the viewer holds a gun across his body. Another, seen from the back, gestures with his right hand. Hovenden rendered the third figure with significantly less detail. Seen from the side, he raises his arms in front of his face. This drawing might have been a study for a painting or an exercise in figural drawing.


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