Hockney’s Paris drawings illustrate the influence of a century of French art, as Ingres, Degas, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse and Balthus are all evoked by these portraits. The present work, executed in a studio that had once belonged to Balthus, takes particular inspiration from that enigmatic modern artist: one of Hockney’s rare female nudes, the depiction is at once academically technical and intimately sensual. Classically posed, adroitly translated, and fully rendered, Study of L.A., Paris is a work of consummate draughtsmanship that belongs to the highest tier of portraits by the artist.
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