The artist adored portraiture from an early age, and also seemed to feature women and children more often than other male artists of that period. He seemed curious about the everyday lives of ordinary citizens and often spoke out in defence of those in the lower sections of society who he deemed were often unfairly treated or perhaps even ignored. He uses fairly light touches of chalk within this example, though the work would have originally been a little darker, prior to the impact of light taking effect over the years that followed.
This beautiful drawing actually held another artwork on the alternative side of the paper, namely a portrait of a Bust of a Man. Many artists have worked in this way, simply in order to make the most of the resources that they held, with many of even the most famous artists having struggled financially in the early stages of their careers. The two-sided piece can be found at the The Cleveland Museum of Art, where a number of other drawings from his career are also displayed, many of which are personal profiles of his son, Emil. Gauguin understood the need to perfect his talents as a draughtsman over time, and that development in this medium is never really complete, as shown by the great masters such as Da Vinci and Michelangelo who practiced their art right through out their careers.
Visitors to the The Cleveland Museum of Art will be able to enjoy all manner of items from right across the world within their excellent collection. Some artists that you might want to look out for include the likes of Thomas Eakins, Nicolas Poussin, Jacques-Louis David and Joseph Mallord William Turner although their display is so extensive that it would be impossible to accurately summarise such a diverse group of items. There is plenty for most tastes to enjoy, and certainly enough to fill a full day looking around this important artistic venue. They also continue to add new items all the time in order to keep up with changing tastes and continue to strengthen and widen their overall appeal.