Study of a Hanging Drapery
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Hans Brosamer
German, about 1530 - 1540
Pen and black ink
7 11/16 x 5 7/8 in.

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With the cloth bunched at the top, flared at the bottom, and suspended at the sides, this piece of drapery appears to represent a woman's skirt. Even though it seems to be hanging rather than worn by a model, the way the two sides lift up evokes the gesture of a woman gathering her skirts. Scholars guess that, in place of a living model, Hans Brosamer often drew from actual articles of clothing that he arranged to suggest wearing or motion.

Brosamer's practice of life drawing and his use of contemporary clothing as subject matter show that he was abreast of the artistic trends of his own period. At the same time, his tendency to treat the individual pieces of drapery as self-contained outlined forms illustrates his delight in examining the complex folds of cloth alone. In a closely hatched style, Brosamer enumerated not only the intricate patterns of the folds but also smaller details such as the skirt's vertical seam.