Mise-en-Page: The Art of Composing on Paper (December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003)
- The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003
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Studies of Armor
Paolo Veronese (Paolo Caliari) or workshop (Italian, 1528 - 1588)
Black chalk, brown wash, and white gouache heightening
21.1 x 20.5 cm (8 5/16 x 8 1/16 in.)
A handsome, headless suit of steel armor flexes its arms while dissolving into sketchy lines at the bottom of the torso. The artist repeated an arm on the right side of the sheet, adding more detail of the elbow covering. Drawing from memory instead of copying exactly all the intricate details of an original, he drew various details on one side only, such as the multiple rows of scrolling on the left shoulder and arm.
Although these studies do not match any known figures of men in armor by Paolo Veronese, either as portraits or within larger compositions, scholars suspect that Veronese or an artist close to him worked on this sheet. As in known Veronese drawings, this armor is presented as if it contains a gesturing man rather than as a uninhabited still-life form. The diagonal line of white highlights across the shoulder and stomach also closely correspond to a Veronese portrait of a man in armor. The rather broad, suggestive modeling, with sharper, darker chalk lines for emphasis, resembles other drawings by Veronese. With few other works for comparison, scholars remain hesitant about a firm attribution.