Red chalk heightened with white chalk
Support: Beige(1) laid paper prepared with a light brown wash
Sheet: 27.8 x 17.8 cm (10 15/16 x 7 in.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Leopold Blumka 1963.72
Red chalk was a common medium used by artists of the 1600s to make drawings from live models.
By the late 1600s, painters of religious subjects, such as Carlo Vimercati, sought to make the content of their church decorations more accessible to a general congregation through the use of dramatic gestures and observed naturalistic details. Such artists often relied on figure studies like this drawing of a posed studio assistant to capture the dress and physique of everyday people and thus imbue their paintings with realistic elements.
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