God the Father (recto); Standing Christ (verso)

Object Details

Title:

God the Father (recto); Standing Christ (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Vittore Carpaccio (Italian, about 1460 - 1526)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Venice, Veneto, Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1495 - 1500

Medium:

Black chalk, brush with gray wash, heightened with white gouache, on greenish blue prepared paper

Dimensions:

21 x 17.1 cm (8 1/4 x 6 3/4 in.)

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Gazing downwards, God the Father grasps his celestial orb in one hand and watches over earth surrounded by a ring of clouds. Vittore Carpaccio first applied black chalk and gray wash, describing the figure's overall outline with strong strokes. Dark vertical lines of hatching give texture to God's robe as well as to the clouds. The artist then exploited the brilliance and luminosity of the white gouache by applying it on top of the chalk. With white lines, he delineated the long delicate hairs of God's beard, differentiating them from the curling strands on his head. The glowing quality of the white gouache and the solid three-dimensionality of God's form create a sense of energy radiating from him.

When the sheet is turned upside down, another study in red chalk appears beneath the greenish-blue preparation. This shows the upper part of the torso of a standing man wearing a toga-like costume and raising his left forearm. This abandoned sketch may have been drawn in connection with the study on the verso. The young man on the verso–probably Christ–who appears to be on a pedestal, may have been copied from an antique sculpture.

Exhibitions
The Body Beautiful: Artists Draw the Nude (1440 - 1880) (December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000
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 Secret Life of Drawings (November 23, 2010 to February 13, 2011) (recto and verso)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 23, 2010 to February 13, 2011