Head of a Boy (recto); Figure Studies (verso)

Object Details

Title:

Head of a Boy (recto); Figure Studies (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Federico Barocci (Italian, about 1535 - 1612)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1586 - 1589

Medium:

Black, red, white and flesh toned chalk (recto); Black chalk (verso)

Dimensions:

24.9 x 17.6 cm (9 13/16 x 6 15/16 in.)

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Federico Barocci used different colored chalks against colored paper to create a dynamic composition of a single head. He placed the boy's head diagonally on the page, and gave it a sense of forward motion by heavily applying light-colored chalks on the face. These light tones appear to advance to the front, and that movement is heightened by the recession into space created by the blue paper. Throughout his career, Barocci made many such studies of heads drawn from life in colored chalks.

Barocci made this tender drawing as a study for the head of the infant Ascanius, son of Aeneas, in his only secular narrative painting, Aeneas's Flight from Troy. Lightly drawn studies for the figure of Ascanius cover the verso.

Exhibitions
Color in Drawing (March 10 to May 24, 1998) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 10 to May 24, 1998
Casting Characters: Portraits and Studies of Heads (November 4, 2003 to February 1, 2004) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 4, 2003 to February 1, 2004
Hatched! Creating Form with Line (March 11 to June 1, 2014) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 11 to June 1, 2014