Cartoon for the Head of Saint James

Object Details

Title:

Cartoon for the Head of Saint James

Artist/Maker(s):

Sebastiano del Piombo (Italian, about 1485 - 1547)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1520

Medium:

Black and white chalk, on two joined sheets of tan paper; silhouetted; pricked for transfer

Dimensions:

30.2 x 30.5 cm (11 7/8 x 12 in.)

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In this highly sculptural drawing of a head, Sebastiano del Piombo combined black and white chalk to fully model a three-dimensional form. The roughly applied black chalk accentuates the impression of the play of light over the saint's face. Roughly drawn lines suggest the tousled curls on his head, while softer shadows darken his cheeks and eye socket. White chalk highlights the edges of his nose and ear.

Sebastiano produced this cartoon for the figure of Saint James in a fresco in a chapel in Rome. In the final fresco, the head of the saint appears at a sharp angle; the joins of the sheets making up this cartoon indicate that it also was composed this way. This head once formed part of a larger sheet, but someone silhouetted it at a later date.

Provenance

Private Collection , Paris

Jacques Petit-Horry

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (105)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (44)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (44)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
Sebastiano del Piombo (June 26 to September 28, 2008) (44)
  • Kulturforum am Potsdamer Platz, (Berlin), June 26 to September 28, 2008