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Thinking on Paper: Preparatory Drawings from the Collection

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Breaking the Pose

88 x 71 in. (223.5 x 180.3 cm)

Jerome Witkin
United States

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Marion Stratton Gould Fund
Accession Number: 1986.16
Location: Currently on view
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Throughout his career, Jerome Witkin’s dedication to the human form has never wavered. In "Breaking the Pose," Witkin captures the activities within an artist’s studio at a specific moment in time. A figurative painter’s reliance upon a nude model is made evident here, as two women pose for the artist. Modeled after Diego Velasquez’s 1656 portrait of the royal family of Spain, Las Meninas, Witkin elevates the goings on of an artist’s studio and makes a connection across the centuries to one of the most successful and revered Old Master figure painters.

Similarities between the two works include the presence of the canvas and the artist; multiple subjects, all of whom appear to be momentarily distracted by visitors; and the reflections in a mirrored background that extend the scene and pique the viewer’s interest.

[Hawks Gallery reinstallation, summer 2019]

Artist's signature, lower left: Witkin 86

Related Objects
See a preparatory drawing for this painting: 4th Pose Study: Lisa Pannella Posing-Preparatory Sketch for "Breaking the Pose", 87.36

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