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Unknown Artist, French School
A Triton
18th century

Tritons adorned fountains and grottoes in France and Italy in the 17th and 18th centuries, and this half-length suggests a figure rising from the water. Yet this partial figure, combined with the use of red chalk and the high degree of finish, suggests a studio exercise: the artist was likely using a three-dimensional model or print of the Belvedere Torso (1st century CE, Vatican Museums). Such variation corresponds to popular art theory that dates back to Roman times, in which known forms are rearranged to produce new and vibrant compositions.

 
Unknown Artist, French School
A Triton
18th century
Red chalk on paper
46.0 x 29.40 cm
Gift of Joyce and James Gutmann, 2015
58-019.04

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