An Indian Man

Georges Seuratabout 1878 - 1879

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

By 1877, art-student Seurat had advanced from copying ancient sculptures and casts to drawing from live models at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. An Indian Man was probably drawn from life, but the sitter is very different from the standard, muscular male nudes who appear in sketches by Seurat and other academic pupils from this period. The sagging aged body, long beard, and topknot identify him as an elderly Indian man. The topknot and beard are sometimes worn by Hindu ascetics called sadhus, who live an austere, monkish existence. But the hairstyle is also characteristic of Sikhs, who, according to a religious tenet known as kes, never cut their hair and are required to comb it with a kangha, tie it in a topknot, and cover it in a turban.

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  • Title: An Indian Man
  • Creator: Georges Seurat
  • Date: about 1878 - 1879
  • Location Created: France
  • Physical Dimensions: 48.4 x 28.5 cm (19 1/16 x 11 1/4 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Graphite
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Signature: Signed Seurat on the verso
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 2014.11
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Drawings


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