Study of a Seated Young Man

Guercinoabout 1619

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

In his youth, Guercino made many drawings from nude models, often using charcoal, the traditional medium for such studies. Artists usually made such drawings from the nude, known as académies, in an art academy or in an artist's studio. Guercino probably made large-scale drawings like this one as demonstration pieces to inspire the pupils in his own academy. He made other oiled-charcoal nude studies of this model around the same time. For these studies, Guercino typically used rough, light-brown paper and charcoal soaked in oil, which made the line darker and more permanent. For luminosity, he added occasional touches of white chalk highlights. This combination enabled him to create luminous shadows or reflected light within deep shadow and to suggest the texture of flesh. His masterly technique simplified forms and distinctively modeled them with soft lines and broad shading to suggest the play of light.

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  • Title: Study of a Seated Young Man
  • Creator: Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri)
  • Date: about 1619
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 52.2 x 42.7 cm (20 9/16 x 16 13/16 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Black chalk dipped in gum, white chalk heightening on gray-brown paper
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 89.GB.52
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Drawings