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Portrait of a Woman Drawing

c. 1770-1781
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.

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Object Details

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