Head of a Female Figure (recto); Female Nude (verso)

Object Details

Title:

Head of a Female Figure (recto); Female Nude (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Giulio Cesare Procaccini (Italian (Bolognese), 1574 - 1625)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1610

Medium:

Black and white chalk

Dimensions:

33.5 x 23.8 cm (13 3/16 x 9 3/8 in.)

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Giulio Cesare Procaccini depicted the head of a woman whose gentle expression suggests the epitome of feminine gracefulness. He first drew her facial features with black chalk, then gently rubbed the chalk for added softness in some places. Next he rapidly sketched in her hair. He added broad strokes of white chalk to give her hair greater luminosity. Additional subtle white chalk provides highlights on her skin, whose tone is largely carried by the brown paper. His grace and soft technique follow in the tradition established by Correggio.

On the verso, Procaccini modeled a smooth female torso that suggests the coolness and idealism of sculpture. Trained as a sculptor himself, Procaccini used his experience to render three dimensions on paper. A later owner of the drawing, who may have wanted to create a more pleasing frame for the study on the recto, probably cut down the sheet, removing the figure's head. Headless, the body even more emphatically recalls fragments of classical sculpture.

Exhibitions
16th and 17th Century Italian Drawings (December 15, 1992 to February 28, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), December 15, 1992 to February 28, 1993, (Cat.)
North Italian Drawings of the 15th through the 17th Century (July 27 to October 10, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 27 to October 10, 1993, (Cat.)
Two Centuries of Drawings from Bologna (December 15, 1998 to February 28, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 15, 1998 to February 28, 1999, (Cat. verso)
Casting Characters: Portraits and Studies of Heads (November 4, 2003 to February 1, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 4, 2003 to February 1, 2004, (Cat. recto)
The Secret Life of Drawings (November 23, 2010 to February 13, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 23, 2010 to February 13, 2011, (Cat. recto)