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.