Bust of an Angel
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Hendrick Goltzius
Dutch, 1609
Black chalk, oiled black chalk, heightened with white chalk
21 7/8 x 15 5/8 in.

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The large head of an angel in profile nearly fills the sheet of paper on which it is drawn. The grand scale of the image as well as the broad handling of the chalk are characteristic of Hendrick Goltzius's tendency to explore concerns more usually associated with painting in his later drawings. The figure in this drawing closely resembles the Archangel Gabriel in Goltzius's painting in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow; like this drawing, the painting is signed and dated 1609.

This drawing was not made in preparation for the painting, however. Like several other large imaginary heads and figures Goltzius produced in this period, it was probably made as a finished work of art in its own right.