Saint Paul

Object Details

Title:

Saint Paul

Artist/Maker(s):

Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo (Italian (Lombard), active about 1480 - after 1548)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

1533

Medium:

Black, white and red chalk on blue paper; top corners trimmed

Dimensions:

28.4 x 22.5 cm (11 3/16 x 8 7/8 in.)

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Using the dramatic effects of chiaroscuro, Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo created a brooding image of Saint Paul. To do this, he used a combination of black, white, and red chalk on blue paper–the paper favored by most Venetian artists during the 1500s and 1600s. As Saint Paul gazes down, the light touches his broad forehead, nose, and ear, showing his furrowed brow, gaunt cheeks, and thinning hair with forceful naturalism. His beard and mustache seem to absorb the light, obscuring his deeply shadowed mouth, neck, and shoulders. Set against a darkened background, the saint's head seems to rise out of the gloom. Although early church documents describe Paul as being short, bald, and ungainly, Savoldo gave him a sense of quiet dignity appropriate to one of the founders of the Christian Church

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993, (Cat. 102)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994, (Cat. 43)
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.)
From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice (July 20 to October 10, 2010)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 2010, (Cat.)