Nudes in a Landscape (possibly Diana and Callisto)

Nudes in a Landscape (possibly Diana and Callisto)

c. 1642-67

Cornelis van Poelenburch

(Dutch, 1594/95-1667)

Black ink wash over graphite, and red chalk on cream antique laid paper

Sheet: 19.5 x 25.3 cm (7 11/16 x 9 15/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 2019.11

Fun Fact

The artist first drew the figures in red chalk and then meticulously filled in the ink wash landscape around them.

Description

In this drawing, the Amsterdam painter Cornelis van Poelenburch combined a loose, monochromatic ink wash landscape with red chalk figures in the foreground. The figures depict the story of Diana and Callisto, when Callisto’s pregnancy with Jupiter's child is revealed to the chaste goddess of the hunt Diana. Van Poelenburch began to draw with red chalk during a journey to Italy, where it was a more common artist’s medium than in the Netherlands. Back in Amsterdam, he kept red chalk as part of his practice, perhaps to call attention to his Italian sojourn.

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