The J. Paul Getty Museum

Study of an Angel

Object Details


Study of an Angel


Mair von Landshut (German, about 1450 - 1504)




Germany (Place Created)




Black ink and white tempera highlights on gray prepared paper

Object Number:



12.4 × 9.5 cm (4 7/8 × 3 3/4 in.)

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Object Description

This angel seems to hang suspended against the background, with outstretched wings, tilted head, downcast eyes, and the right arm pointing over its shoulder. The absence of other figures besides the lone angel makes it difficult for scholars to interpret its pointing gesture. They guess that the artist intended to use the design as part of a larger composition such as a painting or print.

Mair Von Landshut used only black ink and white heightening to create the stiff, flat folds of the angel's robe and the flying drapery beneath. Much of the heightening that probably once covered the angel's wings and clothing has suffered some surface damage and is now gone. Only traces remain to lift the fabric up out of the dark gray color of the background. With little light contrast left, the dark ink hatching therefore appears stronger than it would have originally.

German and Swiss Drawings from the Permanent Collection (June 6 to August 20, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), June 6 to August 20, 2000
Renaissance Drawings from Germany and Switzerland, 1470-1600 (March 27 to June 17, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), March 27 to June 17, 2012