Portrait of a Bearded Man

Object Details

Title:

Portrait of a Bearded Man

Artist/Maker(s):

Tobias Stimmer (Swiss, 1539 - 1584)

Culture:

Swiss

Date:

1576

Medium:

Pen and black and brown ink over black chalk

Dimensions:

29.8 x 20.8 cm (11 3/4 x 8 3/16 in.)

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This middle-aged, as-yet-unidentified sitter wears the relatively unadorned costume of a burgher. A doublet buttons up his front to a high, ruffled collar. As interiors were poorly heated at this time, it became the fashion to keep hats on indoors as well as out, so a low, soft bonnet covers his head.

After lightly outlining the form in black chalk, Tobias Stimmer drew in the face and beard in pen and brown ink and finally worked over the entire figure in black ink. His bold, fractured hatching lends a powerful sculptural quality to the hands. In the face, his strong linework, working together with the luminosity of the white of the paper, produces a powerful, forthright expression. The eyes, with their large, arresting irises, are particularly striking. Scholars assume that the drawing was made as an independent work of art as they can identify no existing painting or prints.

Exhibitions
Central European Drawings of the 16th and 17th Centuries (March 2 to May 9, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), March 2 to May 9, 1993
Portrait Drawings 1500 - 1900 (January 30 to May 12, 1996)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), January 30 to May 12, 1996
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
Posing for Posterity: Portrait Drawings from the Collection (October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002
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
Hatched! Creating Form with Line (March 11 to June 1, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 11 to June 1, 2014