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Drawing - Study for a Male Figure Descending
  • Study for a Male Figure Descending
    Rubens, born 1577 - died 1640
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Study for a Male Figure Descending

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    Belgium (possibly, drawn)

  • Date:

    ca. 1613-1614 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Rubens, born 1577 - died 1640 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Drawing in black chalk, heightened with white, on warm toned paper

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Rev. Alexander Dyce

  • Museum number:

    DYCE.517

  • Gallery location:

    Paintings, room 88a, case East Wall

Physical description

Study of a male figure descending

Place of Origin

Belgium (possibly, drawn)

Date

ca. 1613-1614 (drawn)

Artist/maker

Rubens, born 1577 - died 1640 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Drawing in black chalk, heightened with white, on warm toned paper

Marks and inscriptions

Inscribed at lower right, in brown ink (with the museum’s Dyce inv. no.), 517.

Dimensions

Height: 481 mm, Width: 400 mm

Object history note

Prosper Henry Lankrink (1628–92), London (L. 2090); the Hon. John Spencer (1708–46), Althorp House, Northants; by descent to the Earls of Spencer, Althorp House (L. 1531); Rev. Alexander Dyce (1798–1869), London, by
whom bequeathed to the museum (L. Suppl. 153b), 1869.

This is a possible a study for Mercury descending in 'The Education of Marie de Medici'. It may also have been used for 'The Fall of the Damned' or an avenging angel in 'The Fall of Angels' in Munich.

Descriptive line

Drawing; Study for a Male Figure Descending; by Peter Paul Rubens, Black chalk, heightened with white, on warm toned paper; Flemish School; ca. 1613-1614

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

DYCE COLLECTION. A Catalogue of the Paintings, Miniatures, Drawings, Engravings, Rings and Miscellaneous Objects Bequeathed by The Reverend Alexander Dyce. London : South Kensington Museum, 1874.
The full text of the entry is as follows:

'FLEMISH SCHOOL.
...
SIR PETER PAUL RUBENS.
Painter and Etcher.
Born at Siegen in 1577, lived chiefly at Antwerp, visited London and Madrid, died at Antwerp, in 1640.
...
FALLING FIGURE. Study of a figure, for the “Descent of the Damned.” Black chalk, heightened with white, on warm toned paper. 517
Height, 18 10/12 inches. Width, 15 7/12 inches.
Collections-Prosper Henri Lanckrinck and Lord Spencer.'
Jane Shoaf Turner and Christopher White, Catalogue of Dutch and Flemish Drawings in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, 2014, vol.II, Cat.527 ill.

Labels and date

This drawing is one of many individual studies of the figure that Rubens made. He used them to make subsequent preparatory drawings for larger compositions. Rubens drew his figure studies from live models. They allowed him to refine and improve details like the pose, expression and musculature of the body.

Materials

Black chalk; Toned paper

Techniques

Drawing (image-making); Heightening

Subjects depicted

Man; Mercury

Categories

Drawings

Production Type

Unique

Collection code

PDP

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