Estudios de cabeza y oreja (1665-1670)

Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban (1617-1682)

Estudios de cabeza y oreja (Studies of a Head and Ear)
Red and black chalk, 18.4 x 14.1 cm
Princeton University Art MuseumPrinceton

The descriptive use of red and black chalk to depict color is relatively rare among seventeenth-century Spanish draftsmen but is found often in Murillo’s drawings. This work is a study for the head and ear of a crippled beggar who appears in an altarpiece painted for a church in Seville. With a combination of short strokes of red chalk, Murillo meticulously defined the man’s hollow cheeks and facial features while economically rendering his hair with sweeping strokes of black chalk. (PUAM)