Studies of Women

Object Details

Title:

Studies of Women

Artist/Maker(s):

Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577 - 1640)

Culture:

Flemish

Date:

1628

Medium:

Black, red, and white chalk, lower right corner replaced

Dimensions:

44.9 x 28.9 cm (17 11/16 x 11 3/8 in.)

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On a diplomatic mission to Spain in 1628, Peter Paul Rubens visited the royal palace in Madrid. Admiring three paintings by Titian that hung in adjacent rooms, he quickly sketched some of the profiles of various women he saw portrayed, intermingling motifs from the various works on a single sheet.

Rubens focused on the angle and expression on each head, as well as the elaborately braided hairstyle and jewelry. By liberally layering in white chalk, the artist created a sensuous play of light over the hair. Smudgy black chalk strokes give volume to another woman's body and describe the muscular ripples on her arms. Rubens's chalk strokes ranged from the stronger, more powerful form of the nude body to the delicate strokes where the hair touches the back of one figure's neck. He very effectively used the combination of red, black, and white chalk, a technique known by the French term aux troix crayons, coined in the 1700s.

Provenance

Prosper Henry Lankrink (London, England), possibly 1628 - 1692

Nicolaas Beets (Amsterdam, Netherlands)

A. S. Drey (Munich, Germany)

Dr. Gollnow (Stettin, Germany)

Dr. Anton Schrafl (Zurich, Switzerland)

Christie's (London)

Exhibitions
Creative Copies: Master Drawings from Michelangelo to Picasso (April 9 to July 23, 1988)
  • Center for the Study and Exhibition of Drawings, (New York), April 9 to July 23, 1988, (Cat.)
Flemish Drawings in the Age of Rubens (October 15 to November 28, 1993)
  • Wellesley College Museum, (Wellesley), October 15 to November 28, 1993, (Cat. by A.-M. Logan 16)
Flemish Drawings of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries (August 29 to November 12, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), August 29 to November 12, 1995, (Cat.)
Color in Drawing (March 10 to May 24, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 10 to May 24, 1998, (Cat.)
Red Chalk Drawings (March 16 to May 30, 1999)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 16 to May 30, 1999, (Cat.)
The Body Beautiful: Artists Draw the Nude (1440 - 1880) (December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000, (Cat.)
Peter Paul Rubens and the Art of Drawing in Flanders (August 29 to October 22, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), August 29 to October 22, 2000, (Cat.)
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, (Cat.)
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640): The Drawings (September 14, 2004 to April 3, 2005)
  • Albertina, (Vienna), September 14 to December 5, 2004, (Cat. by A.-M. Logan, et al. Albertina Cat. no. 101, see also p. 117, note 115; Metropolitan Cat. no. 7, see also p. 59, note 117. 101/7)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), January 14 to April 3, 2005, (Cat. by A.-M. Logan, et al. Albertina Cat. no. 101, see also p. 117, note 115; Metropolitan Cat. no. 7, see also p. 59, note 117. 101/7)
Rubens and his Printmakers (July 5 to September 24, 2006)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 5 to September 24, 2006, (Cat.)
Drawing in the Age of Rubens (October 14, 2014 to January 11, 2015)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 14, 2014 to January 11, 2015, (Cat.)