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A Drawing Lesson

Constantine Hertzberg

American Art

Constantine Hertzberg rendered this detailed scene with remarkably fine and precise ink lines. In addition to demonstrating his masterful draftsmanship, the drawing reflects changes related to artistic training and gender in the latter half of the nineteenth century. This period witnessed the rise of the professional female artist, for whom drawing was a key component of artistic training rather than merely a genteel amateur accomplishment. At the time he made this work, Hertzberg was a drawing instructor at the Cooper Union School of Design for Women in New York, so the subject of his image could be autobiographical.
MEDIUM Black ink on thick, cream, smooth wove paper
DATES 1865
DIMENSIONS Sheet: 10 9/16 x 6 3/4 in. (26.8 x 17.1 cm) Image: 8 x 5 15/16 in. (20.3 x 15.1 cm)  (show scale)
INSCRIPTIONS On recto: inscribed lower right in pen, "13266"; and lower center in graphite, "from Mrs. Tom Cochran / 301 Clermont Rd. / Brooklyn" On verso, inscribed in center in ink, "Composed and Drawn with the Pen. by Constantine Hertzberg. / Prof of Drawing and Perspective in the Brooklyn Polytechnique Institute and in / the Cooper Union. / August 1865."; and below in graphite, "see Karolik Coll. Vol. 1, p 186" and "D8209"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. Tom Cochran
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION Constantine Hertzberg (American, born Germany, 1833-1919). A Drawing Lesson, 1865. Black ink on thick, cream, smooth wove paper, Sheet: 10 9/16 x 6 3/4 in. (26.8 x 17.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mrs. Tom Cochran, 19.186
IMAGE overall, 19.186_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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