Studies of Heads (recto); Studies of a Male Figure (verso)

Object Details

Title:

Studies of Heads (recto); Studies of a Male Figure (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Hans Baldung Grien (German, 1484/1485 - 1545)

Culture:

German

Date:

about 1512 - 1513

Medium:

Pen and black ink

Dimensions:

12.4 x 17.1 cm (4 7/8 x 6 3/4 in.)

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As he practiced drawing different heads for use in later paintings and prints, Hans Baldung Grien created a pattern unified by abstract hatching. The facing heads represent three distinct facial types: a young woman with long flowing hair and a crown, a bearded man in the top left, and a young man looking upward at the bottom right.

By contrast, the six faces clustered in groups of two and four near the upper center of the sheet resemble physiognomic studies, or variations on distinctive profiles. Baldung Grien recorded various hooked, straight, and curving noses combined with rounded, pointed, and sloping or non-existent chins. The artist used light, flowing strokes to outline most of the faces and dark, broader accents to emphasize the eyes, noses, and mouths.

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (4; recto)
  • 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) (58; recto)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
German and Swiss Drawings from the Permanent Collection (June 6 to August 20, 2000) (recto)
  • 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) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002
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
Renaissance Drawings from Germany and Switzerland, 1470-1600 (March 27 to June 17, 2012) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 27 to June 17, 2012