Sep 27, 2010

Study for the Head of St. Michael

Study for the Head of St. Michael


Pietro da Cortona

(Italian, 1596–1669)

Black chalk

Support: Beige(1) laid paper, perimeter mounted to cream(3) laid paper

Sheet: 19 x 16.8 cm (7 1/2 x 6 5/8 in.); Secondary Support: 31.9 x 27.6 cm (12 9/16 x 10 7/8 in.)

Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1996.257


Did you know?

The fresco for which this drawing was made as a preparatory study joins works of art by Peter Paul Rubens as well as relics of the Saint Philip Neri in the Chiesa Nuova in Rome.


Pietro da Cortona drew this angelically beautiful face in a style reminiscent of the work of Renaissance master Raphael (1483–1520). Cortona's use of black chalk to develop extremely subtle effects of shading shows the technique at its most refined. He drew this sheet in preparation for a ceiling decoration, Saint Michael and Angels with the Instruments of the Passion, painted in fresco in the church of Santa Maria in Vallicella (better known as the Chiesa Nuova, or "New Church") in Rome, completed in 1633.

See also
DR - Italian
Type of artwork: 
Black chalk

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