This watercolour depicts a crouching woman playing the double flute known as the diaulos, used in the music of the ancient world. She is charming a snake from a vase.

This lone figure was reused by Cros and integrated into a polychrome terracotta plaque entitled The Incantation, dated 1 June 1891 and preserved at the Cité de la Céramique in Sèvres, on which this double flute player can be found in the bottom left-hand corner.

This work is influenced by the art of the ancient world. Thus the upper body of the figure is inspired by a Greek bas relief and her pose is that of the Crouching Venus statue in the Louvre dating from the Hellenistic period. The treatment of outlines in pencil and the watercolour infill is characteristic of Cros’ works.

C. V. de J.

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