[Cast drawing: architectural fragment]

Unidentified Artist

[Cast drawing: architectural fragment]


Unidentified Artist (Last quarter of 19th Cent.)


after 1876


Charcoal and white chalk on buff wove paper


9 11/16 x 15 5/8 in. (24.60625 x 39.68496 cm.)

Accession #:


Credit Line:

John S. Phillips Fund


Although the creator of this drawing remains yet unidentified, the work itself is a product of a specific moment in a late nineteenth-century student artist's training at the Academy's school. The structure of the program, which was based on the rigid French academic system, required (especially after 1876) that the student pass two levels of cast drawing - non-figurative, then figurative - before being allowed to draw and paint from the live model. This drawing of an architectural fragment demonstrates the student's ability to render light as it falls on an intricate decorative form. Fortunately this drawing still bears the approval signature of John Sartain and Edward Coates (both active in the administration of the school's program), indicating that this student probably went on to draw from figurative casts. Stylistically, this student may have been partially self-taught. Hatched and cross-hatched lines and delicately drawn outlines are reminiscent of engraved and lithographed demonstration plates common to the drawing manuals published throughout the nineteenth century.