A Boy Holding a Pear (Giacomo Piazzetta?)

Object Details

Title:

A Boy Holding a Pear (Giacomo Piazzetta?)

Artist/Maker(s):

Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (Italian, 1682 - 1754)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1737

Medium:

Black and white chalk on blue-gray paper (two joined sheets)

Dimensions:

39.2 x 31 cm (15 7/16 x 12 3/16 in.)

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A chubby-faced young boy stares out at us, as he holds up a small pear in his left hand. The youth is probably the artist's son Giacomo Piazzetta, drawn when he was about ten or eleven years old. He wears a dark cap decorated with a feather on his head, while an elaborately patterned vest covers a white shirt with wide, billowing sleeves and a lacy collar.

This captivating drawing shows Giovanni Battista Piazzetta's skill at capturing both his son's character and the different fabrics he wears. Softly smudged lines of dark hatching suggest the boy's rounded, fleshy cheeks, while touches of white chalk give shiny highlights to his nose, eyes, and chin. Piazzetta also managed to indicate the shimmering, silky texture of the boy's sleeve in contrast to the dark and velvety texture of his hat.

Exhibitions
Italian Master Drawings (May 5 to July 19, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), May 5 to July 19, 1992
Portrait Drawings 1500 - 1900 (January 30 to May 12, 1996)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), January 30 to May 12, 1996
Drawing Italy in the Age of the Grand Tour (February 5 to May 12, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), February 5 to May 12, 2002
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
Light and Water: Drawing in Eighteenth-Century Venice (May 17 to August 21, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 1 to August 22, 2004