Man Kneeling, Facing Right (recto); Sketches of Figures (verso)
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Jacob Jordaens
Flemish, about 1630 - 1635
Black chalk, brown and ocher wash, and violet and massicot bodycolor (recto); black chalk (verso)
14 1/2 x 13 3/16 in.

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A male figure kneels down on a step or platform, with his left hand raised in a pointing gesture and the right lowered to give support. The drawing's bold lines and strong angles suggest a feeling of tremendous power and strength. Although the man's identity is unknown, scholars believe that the drawing might have been made as a study for an apostle who kneels in front of the Virgin Mary in an Assumption of the Virgin painting. In this large-scale drawing, Jacob Jordaens concentrated on the flowing drapery that covers the man's body from his neck to ankles, showing the way the light reflected off the folds in the fabric. Jordaens applied the black chalk energetically, describing the outline of the drapery with a thick, strong line. Various layers of colored pigments then added shadows to the fabric. He finished the work with an application of a thick coat of massicot bodycolor to highlight the cloak and violet wash to articulate the strip of lining visible behind the figure's left hand. A rough outline of another kneeling man stands out among the lightly outlined figures on the verso.

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Verso: Sketches of Figures
Verso: Sketches of Figures