The Toilette of Venus

Object Details

Title:

The Toilette of Venus

Artist/Maker(s):

Joseph Heintz the Elder (Swiss, 1564 - 1609)

Culture:

Swiss

Place(s):

Switzerland (Place created)

Date:

1594

Medium:

Red and black chalk

Dimensions:

21.6 x 15.1 cm (8 1/2 x 5 15/16 in.)

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In a shadowy boudoir scene with a theatrically parted canopy, Venus combs her hair before a mirror held by Cupid. Rather than detailing her facial features, Joseph Heintz the Elder focused attention on the goddess's unusual pose, displaying her elongated back in an extended curve, slightly twisted in the Mannerist fashion.

Employing a distinctive use of chalk, Heintz recalled the works of Michelangelo in his refined modeling of nudes in smoothly modulated chalks. During two trips to Italy, the Swiss artist had assimilated a variety of Italian drawing techniques. He probably made this sketch during his second voyage south in 1592. His employer, the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II, had sent Heintz there to sketch antiquities and to acquire works of art for the imperial collection.

Exhibitions
16th Century Northern European Drawings (February 18 to May 2, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), February 18 to May 2, 1992, (Cat.)
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. 59)
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. 65)
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998, (Cat.)
Red Chalk Drawings (March 16 to May 30, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 16 to May 30, 1999, (Cat.)
The Body Beautiful: Artists Draw the Nude (1440 - 1880) (December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000, (Cat.)
Raphael and his Influence Across the Centuries (October 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 31, 2000 to January 7, 2001, (Cat.)
Drawing the Classical Figure (December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009, (Cat.)
Disegno: Drawing in Europe 1520-1600 (November 13, 2012 to February 3, 2013)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 13, 2012 to February 3, 2013, (Cat.)