Nude Man Carrying a Rudder on His Shoulder
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Italian, Pieve di Cadore, about 1555 - 1556
Black chalk and white heightening on blue paper
11 5/16 x 6 1/8 in.

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In this masterful drawing of a nude man hoisting a rudder on his shoulder, Titian used the blue paper that artists in Venice so often favored. The blue served as a middle tone, with the shadows and outlines drawn in black chalk and the rippling back muscles highlighted in white. Just as in his characteristically textural paintings, Titian combined the three colors to fully model a three-dimensional figure. The smudgy, roughly applied black chalk accentuates the impression of the varied play of light over a sculptural form. The figure's unusual, slightly twisted pose is the focus, rather than such details as the man's facial features.

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