This beautiful drawing in pen and brown ink, wash and brown, black and white chalks, Adoration of the Shepherds, by François Boucher, is currently on display at the Morgan Library and Museum in new York.
It is part of an exhibit called Rococo and Revolution: Eighteenth-Century French Drawings, that runs until January 3, 2010.
There is a selection of drawings from the show highlighted on the Morgan’s web site, which are linked to zoomable versions. Though I’m not always a fan of the constraints of zooming images, they still offer the ability to see details normally not available in smaller images on the web. This is also something that is rarely applied to drawings.
Zooming in on this drawing we can see Boucher’s fluid Rembrandt-like pen lines. Look at the way he has used the reddish brown tones and judicious applications of white chalk to give the scene a luminous quality more often seen in paintings than drawings.
I love the wonderfully economic notation of the animals and the wooden structures, bales and baskets at the lower right portion of the drawing.