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Copyright
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Child's Head

Accession Number
1947/2.3

Title
Child's Head

Artist(s)
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)

Object Creation Date
17th century

Medium & Support
pen and ink with crayon touches on cream laid paper

Dimensions
5 3/4 in x 3 3/4 in (14.6 cm x 9.5 cm);12 1/16 in x 9 9/16 in (30.64 cm x 24.29 cm);5 3/4 in x 3 3/4 in (14.6 cm x 9.5 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Fall 2011
Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)
Italy, 1591–1666
Child’s Head
17th century
Pen and ink with crayon touches on cream laid paper
Museum purchase, 1947/2.3
Guercino was a masterful draftsman and this quick sketch of a young boy model shows the economy with which he drew a variety of marks that suggest different textures. The fine hatching that captures the smooth, youthful features of the face is contrasted with the freer lines of the hair and, finally, the broken, almost calligraphic lines suggesting the drapery. The work is infused with a sense of light and intimacy. A drawing such as this might have been intended as a study for a particular composition, but it is more likely that it was a life study for its own sake.

Subject matter
A quick sketch made from life, this drawing does not seem to have been a study for a particular composition as much as the chance to capture the sailent qualities of Guercino's young model. A rich variety of ink strokes define the different textures of smooth skin, unruly hair, and roughly defined garments. The summary treatment of the clothing contrasts with the smooth shading and mass that the artist gives to his sitter's featres, making this slight sketch into an economical and elegant examination of a young boy.

Physical Description
A young child is seated facing out toward the viewer and looking to the right. The shading and details of the face are created with multiple pen strokes but the torso is suggested by just a few.

Primary Object Classification
Drawing

Primary Object Type
study

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Figures
child
head
heads (animal components)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved