Another composite sheet of studies of hands was formerly in the David Daniels collection (see R. S. Slatkin, François Boucher in North American Collections: 100 Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, and Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, 1974, p. 96, cat. no. 74). As here, the Daniels drawings are executed in a variety of media, on several different types of paper. According to Slatkin (loc. cit.) the sheets seem to have been assembled in this way by Boucher's mount maker, and although our drawing does not bear his stamp, it is possible that it also passed through his hands.
The drawings may well be inspired by Bloemaert's Tekenboek, a drawing manual containing instructive engravings after sheets of studies by Bloemaert, which contains sections devoted to various studies of hands and feet. Boucher is known to have owned a copy of the book (which was lot 612 in the Boucher sale), and other artists from this period, such as Carle van Loo and Portail also drew from the Tekenboek. Boucher did not, however, rely exclusively on such sources for anatomical models, but also drew the human figure from life.
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