Black chalk, brush and brown wash, and lead white (partially oxidized), with traces of red chalk
Support: Cream(3) laid paper
Sheet: 20 x 13.2 cm (7 7/8 x 5 3/16 in.); Secondary Support: 30.4 x 22.9 cm (11 15/16 x 9 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1973.171
This drawing is believed to have once been in the collection of two brothers who were considered the premier academic painters in 19th-century Rome.
Federico Barocci, who worked in Urbino, made landscape sketches for use in his paintings and as independent studies. The artist’s multimedia approach—combining chalks, ink washes, and opaque paints—was novel at the time but would become standard practice for landscape artists working in later centuries. Novel, as well, was his interest in excerpts of the natural world rather than fully realized scenes. Here, the artist drew an eroded bank with a few bold lines in black chalk, then used a brush to layer brown and white ink washes, capturing the untamed clump of earth with
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