The carelessly thrown woman at the feet of painter Henri Michel-Levy is a lay figure. These were mannequins, usually made of wood, that artists used as models in place of a live person (who would have to be paid). Jeanette’s friends would never have allowed their Poupée to sprawl so awkwardly, considering her, as they did, a mascot to be treated with affection.
For John Fergus Weir’s wonderful image of an undressed lay figure that shows its construction, click here
. And for the first of a wonderfully informative series of blog posts on lay figures by Dinotopia
artist James Gurney and links to the rest, click here