The J. Paul Getty Museum

Studies of the Virgin and Child (recto); Virgin and Child Enthroned (verso)

Object Details

Title:

Studies of the Virgin and Child (recto); Virgin and Child Enthroned (verso)

Artist/Maker:

Desiderio da Settignano or workshop (Italian, about 1430 - 1464)

Culture:

Italian

Place:

Italy (Place Created)

Date:

1460s

Medium:

Pen and brown ink over stylus underdrawing (recto); pen and brown ink and black chalk (verso)

Object Number:

88.GG.107

Dimensions:

19.4 × 27.8 cm (7 5/8 × 10 15/16 in.)

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Object Description

Desiderio da Settignano, or a draftsman from his workshop, drew seven sketches of the Virgin and the infant Jesus in pen and ink over elaborate stylus underdrawings that frequently differ greatly from the overdrawings in pen. He used a light, delicate touch and concentrated on the outline of the forms with minimal internal modeling. The artist drew more broadly on the verso, using considerable black chalk underdrawing along with the brown ink. Here the Virgin and Child sit in profile on an elaborate throne ornamented with a sphinx, a curling rinceaux motif, and various floral designs. Given the profile format, scholars believe this sheet was probably intended as a study for a relief, perhaps in terracotta. Renaissance sculptors used drawings as important tools for numerous purposes: to experiment with new ideas, for workshop assistants to copy, or to tempt a patron with selections for a new commission.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Made for Manufacture: Drawings for Sculpture and the Decorative Arts (February 6 to May 20, 2007) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 6 to May 20, 2007
From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice (July 20 to October 10, 2010) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 2010
The Sculptural Line (January 17 to April 16, 2017) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), January 17 to April 16, 2017