Seated Female Nude

Adriaen van de Veldeabout 1660–1670

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Who is this woman? She sits nude, her left arm outstretched while her right reaches up to grasp it, with a small cloth draped modestly across her lap. Her high forehead, small eyes, long torso, and muscular legs lead scholars to guess that Adriaen van de Velde produced this drawing from a living model rather than an idealized figure.

Choosing black chalk instead of the more traditional red, van de Velde softly shaded her body, adding delicate white heightening for the highlights. The cool colors of the black and white chalks and gray-toned paper complement the refined and delicate modeling of the figure. This subtlety contrasts with the broadly applied chalk strokes that set her off from the background. Van de Velde particularly emphasized the dark shadows beneath her legs and right arm, as well as the softer shadows around her back and upper thigh.


  • Title: Seated Female Nude
  • Creator: Adriaen van de Velde
  • Date Created: about 1660–1670
  • Location Created: Holland
  • Physical Dimensions: 26.5 × 19.5 cm (10 7/16 × 7 11/16 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Black chalk heightened with white chalk on paper prepared with gray wash
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 86.GB.641
  • Culture: Dutch
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Adriaen van de Velde (Dutch, 1636 - 1672)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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