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Portrait of a Woman Drawing

c. 1770-1781
Attributed to Catherine Lusurier (French, c. 1753–1781)

Catherine Lusurier’s sympathetic portraits are characterized by their direct gaze and delicate color. Though the sitter of this work is unknown, Lusurier depicts her as a fellow artist, her pencil poised as if to sketch the viewer.

In a time when women had limited access to formal artistic training, Lusurier studied with her cousin, François-Hubert Drouais, a leading portraitist. Though she did not exhibit publicly, she attracted prestigious clients and earned enough to support herself and an unmarried sister. When she died at twenty-eight, an obituary in a major arts journal claimed that, had she lived, she might have become one of France’s most famous female artists.

Object Details

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