Thomas Hovenden, Study of a French Musketeer

Graphite on paper
Credit Line
Woodmere Art Museum: Gift of Mr. Stiles Tuttle Colwill, 2018
10 ¼ in. x 8 ¼ in.

Grinning from ear to ear, a French musketeer leans forward in this theatrical drawing by Thomas Hovenden. He sports a dashing costume, black curly hair, a dark moustache, and an amiable expression. 

What distinguishes this drawing from Hovenden’s two others of the same subject in Woodmere’s collection is the dramatic addition of the figures on either side of the musketeer. The figure in the background on the right has the furrowed eyebrows of someone who is scowling. He appears to be emerging from a doorway. On the left side is a disembodied face with a wide grin. 

Hovenden likely completed this drawing in Paris in 1878 when he had access to studio props and costumes belonging to his friend, American artist Milne Ramsey (1847–1915).


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