Three Figure Studies

Object Details


Three Figure Studies


Giovanni Paolo Panini (Italian, 1691 - 1765)




1740 to 1750


Gray wash over black chalk


29.4 × 38.4 cm (11 9/16 × 15 1/8 in.)

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Giovanni Paolo Panini probably made this study of three men in varied poses to provide figure types for his views of Rome, called vedute. Although he usually focused on elaborate architecture, he gave a sense of scale and humanity to his scenes by adding numerous small figures performing various tasks.

Panini drew these figures very quickly with thick black chalk lines, later adding gray wash in a range of strengths. He first lightly sketched in the overall form of the central figure, then added layers of wash to define the creases in his breeches and jacket. The darkest washes represent the shadows.

Drawing Italy in the Age of the Grand Tour (February 5 to May 12, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 5 to May 12, 2002