Sheet of Studies of Various Figures

Object Details

Title:

Sheet of Studies of Various Figures

Artist/Maker:

Aurelio Luini (Italian, about 1530 - 1593)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

1570s

Medium:

Pen and brown ink, brown wash with white gouache heightening over traces of black chalk on paper

Object Number:

85.GG.229

Dimensions:

26.7 × 17.9 cm (10 1/2 × 7 1/16 in.)

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A complex arrangement of biblical and mythological figures fills this well-preserved sheet. In the lower right corner, Aurelio Luini quickly sketched the figure of an apostle, which he later used in a fresco. Near the bottom of the page stand two larger figures of Mary Magdalene, each holding a jar of ointment with which to anoint the feet of Jesus Christ. Above, on the right, a woman--possibly the figure of Charity--holds a child in either arm. Scholars are unable to identify the other figures. The number in the top left of the sheet suggests that it once formed part of Luini's sketchbook.

Luini swiftly drew the outline of each figure first in brown ink, deftly indicating the volume of the forms simply by varying the length and curve of the strokes. He then used brown wash and rich areas of white heightening to create a subtle, luminous effect. White bodycolor gives the impression of a knee beneath a fold of fabric, adds texture to the drapery, and highlights the figures' hair and faces.

Exhibitions
Mise-en-Page: The Art of Composing on Paper (December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003
A North Italian Itinerary: Renaissance Drawings from Leonardo to Titian (December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006