• Study of a Young Woman's Head

    Technique:
    black and red chalk
    Dimensions:
    16x14 cm

Study of a Young Woman's Head

Flanders, circa 1635-1640

These two drawings are certainly closely connected. They are similar in manner, executed in the same technique and depict one and the same woman seen from the same angle. Interestingly, the drawings came from different collections. They were reunited only in the Hermitage and even after that they had different attributions for a long time. Today Jordaens’s authorship of both works appears incontestable. The woman depicted belongs to a type that is highly characteristic of the artist. Although this specific face has not yet been found in his works, it is impossible not to detect a “family resemblance” linking the model presented here to a large number of other smiling vivacious young women inhabiting his paintings. The drawing technique – soft broad hatching in the shadows, a combination of velvety black chalk with the rich rust red of sanguine, light touches of white chalk producing the effect of radiant skin and a gleam in the eyes – was typical of Jordaens’s studies from the 1630s. Subtle differences in the treatment of the image make it possible to conclude with a high degree of certainty that the smaller format drawing came first and was made directly from life. In it we clearly sense the effect of the presence of a living model; the woman’s individuality is conveyed more keenly. The other work, by contrast, gives an image that is more generalized and idealized. It was probably made on the basis of its predecessor and was intended for use in some narrative painting.

Title:

Study of a Young Woman's Head

Place:

Material:

Technique:

black and red chalk

Dimensions:

16x14 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1923; formerly in the collection of Schwartz and the Mordvinovs

Inventory Number:

ОР-27328

Category:

Collection:

Subcollection: