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A Boy seated Drawing

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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Despite the title, the boy is not drawing but studying a sketchbook – there’s no sign of drawing implements. In front of him is a cast of the Christ Child from Michelangelo’s statue of the Virgin and Child (Church of Our Lady, Bruges) and another book of sketches, but the drawing we see on the open page clearly does not represent the face of the cast. The artist reverses our normal expectations by suggesting that the cast is studying the young artist immersed in his book, rather than the other way around.

The National Gallery, London



probably 1700-1800


Oil on canvas


H 127 x W 99.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Presented by Mr and Mrs J.G. Lousada through The Art Fund to the Tate Gallery, 1921; transferred, 1922

Work type


The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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