The Lost Symphony: Whistler & the Perfection of Art

Standing Nude (Venus)

Standing Nude (Venus)Known as a “cartoon,” this full-scale drawing represents an advanced stage in Whistler’s preparatory method. The design on the paper would have been transferred to an underlying canvas by pushing chalk dust through the pinholes. The idealized proportions of the figure attest to Whistler’s careful study of classical sculpture. If he had finished the painting, Whistler planned for the standing woman to be “clad in thin transparent drapery, with a lot of flowers and very light bright colors.”

James McNeill Whistler
Black crayon with touches of white chalk on brown paper