Head of a Female Figure (recto); Female Nude (verso) (Main View)

Giulio Cesare Procaccini

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Giulio Cesare Procaccini depicted the head of a woman whose gentle expression suggests the epitome of feminine gracefulness. He first drew her facial features with black chalk, then gently rubbed the chalk for added softness in some places. Next he rapidly sketched in her hair. He added broad strokes of white chalk to give her hair greater luminosity. Additional subtle white chalk provides highlights on her skin, whose tone is largely carried by the brown paper. His grace and soft technique follow in the tradition established by Correggio.

On the verso, Procaccini modeled a smooth female torso that suggests the coolness and idealism of sculpture. Trained as a sculptor himself, Procaccini used his experience to render three dimensions on paper. A later owner of the drawing, who may have wanted to create a more pleasing frame for the study on the recto, probably cut down the sheet, removing the figure's head. Headless, the body even more emphatically recalls fragments of classical sculpture.


  • Title: Head of a Female Figure (recto); Female Nude (verso) (Main View)
  • Creator: Giulio Cesare Procaccini
  • Date Created: about 1610
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 33.5 × 23.8 cm (13 3/16 × 9 3/8 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Black and white chalk
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 86.GB.20
  • Culture: Italian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Giulio Cesare Procaccini (Italian (Bolognese), 1574 - 1625)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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