Bishop Holding a Candle (recto); Draped Legs (verso)

Vittore Carpaccio1493

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The imposing figure of a bishop holding a long taper stick and climbing the stairs fills this slightly irregularly shaped drawing. As he mounts the stairs, the bishop turns to gaze sadly out at the viewer.

After delicately drawing in the man's form with pen and brown wash, Vittore Carpaccio went over his long cape, beard, and pointed hat with fine lines of white bodycolor, giving a sense of shimmering texture to the drapery's deep folds. He made this drawing as a preparatory study for part of a painting, completed in 1493.

The verso, by contrast, is a fragmentary study related to a much later picture. This horizontal image shows the legs of a seated figure that have been delicately draped with cloth. Here Carpaccio used the white bodycolor not only to create highlights in the fabric but also to suggest the form and position of the legs as they lift and shape their flimsy covering.

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  • Title: Bishop Holding a Candle (recto); Draped Legs (verso)
  • Creator: Vittore Carpaccio
  • Date: 1493
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 20.2 x 11.1 cm (7 15/16 x 4 3/8 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Brush and wash, heightened with white gouache, black chalk
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 88.GG.89
  • Inscription: Secondary Inscription: (Recto) on former mount, inscribed "S.V. N°:29" in brown ink; (verso) on mount, inscribed "S.V. N°:17" and "Di mano di Gio. Bellino" in brown ink.
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Drawings


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