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A Young Woman Buying a Pink from a Young Man

A Young Woman Buying a Pink from a Young Man

c. 1740

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta

(Italian, 1682-1754)

Black crayon (wetted and rubbed) heightened with white chalk

Support: Blue laid paper (faded to green-gray)

Sheet: 42.7 x 54.9 cm (16 13/16 x 21 5/8 in.)

Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1938.387


Piazzetta's contemporaries praised him for the beauty of his independent drawings. In this beguiling sheet, an exchange between the boy and the young woman taking a flower from him suggests a narrative, but leaves the story open for the viewer to interpret. It belongs to a type of work in which the artist specialized, known in Italian as teste de carattere ("character heads"), a kind of portraiture embellished with props to suggest a character type.

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