Praised by Suzanne Valadon as a ‘dessinateur exceptionelle’, Zandomeneghi adopted the medium of pastel, applied with an oil-like richness, as his preferred technique in the 1890’s. His favourite subject matter in these works, as in his paintings, were single figures of women and children, often engaged in some sort of everyday activity.
This large drawing, whose signature was until recently obscured by its old mount, is a splendid example of Zandomeneghi’s skill as a pastellist. It may be related to a painting of a Crysanthemum Vendor, of identical dimensions, in a private Italian collection. The painting, which has been dated to the 1880’s or 1890’s, once belonged to the Italian sculptor Medardo Rosso and remains in the possession of his descendants. It differs from the present sheet primarily in the substitution of the figure in the left background with a window showing a landscape beyond.