Thomas Hovenden, Study of a French Musketeer Wearing a Hat

Date
Unknown
Medium
Graphite on paper
Credit Line
Woodmere Art Museum: Gift of Mr. Stiles Tuttle Colwill
Dimensions
11 in. x 8 ¼ in.

This drawing by Thomas Hovenden is one of three renderings of the same French musketeer in the Woodmere Art Museum’s collection. Here the figure stands tall with his shoulders back, his chest open, and his weight shifted onto his left foot. The model’s face and eyes are angled upward. What makes this drawing particularly theatrical is a smaller drawing in a frame on the left side of the scene. The man in this smaller drawing is dressed like the central figure and appears on a stage between two open curtains.

While there are no known paintings of a French musketeer by Hovenden, the style of the clothing in this drawing is similar to clothing in paintings Hovenden made in Paris in 1878 and in paintings of musketeers by his friend Milne Ramsey (1847–1915). Ramsey had a vast collection of props, furniture, and costumes from the period of King Louis XIII, and Hovenden likely used them for his costume paintings and studies.

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