The Smoker

A quick sketch of “The Smoker,” a terra-cotta study by Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux. This is charcoal with pastel pencil.

My nine-year-old son laughed when he first saw this, it reminded him of some kind of cartoon character.  Indeed, it has such character that it almost speaks in a gruff, half-growl. Carpeaux was a French sculptor of the mid 19th century.  He was only 48 when he died, but he produced a masterful body of work.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC has several of his best marbles, which we were fortunate to see recently.


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