Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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The Head of a Woman Looking Up (Judith).

Artist:
Guido Reni (Italian, Bologna 1575–1642 Bologna)
Date:
1625–26
Medium:
Red and black chalk, on originally blue paper now faded to light brown-gray
Dimensions:
13 1/4 × 8 7/8 in. (33.6 × 22.6 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1992
Accession Number:
1992.70
Not on view
Striking for its coloristic richness-a pictorial quality imparted by the combination of red and black chalk-this head of a young woman is a preparatory study for Reni's painting Judith and Holofernes, a celebrated and much replicated composition. The present study was most probably derived from life, to judge from the bold immediacy of the contours and the quick zig-zagging of the parallel hatching of the shading. The elegiac beauty of the young female model that is seen here would be idealized by the artist into a more athletic, heroic type in the painted composition. In the drawing, which exhibits theexquisite "two-chalk" technique is typical of Guido's work of the mid 1620s, the upturned head of the figure exhibits gentler facial features and a softer modeling of the flesh in the area of the neck. The Museum owns a further preparatory drawing for the same painting (62.123.1), a study formerly collected by the Italian connoisseur Sebastiano Resta.The painted canvas that is favored as Guido Reni's autograph original is that in the Sedlmayer Collection, Geneva, but a further monumental variant on the same subject is in the Galleria Spada in Rome (234 x 150 cm; See Federico Zeri, La Galleria Spada in Roma, 1953, p. 110). The Museum also owns three reproductive engravings after this celebrated composition by Reni (nos. 51.501.4564; 51.501.4574; 51.501.5060).
Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester (British, 1697–1759); Holkhal Hall Collection Sale, Christie's, London, July 2, 1991; Donor: Lila Acheson Wallace Gift, 1992
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 9, 2006–April 6, 2006.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," April 12, 2010–July 11, 2010.

Giulia Fusconi, Simonetta Prosperi Valenti Rodinò, Annamaria Petrioli Tofani, Gianni Carlo Sciolla Il disegno: i grandi collezionisti. Turin, 1992, p. 153, fig. 172 (as formerly Holkham Hall).

"Curatorial Reports and Departmental Accessions: Drawings." in Annual Report of the Trustees of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, July 1, 1991 - June 30, 1992. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 122, New York, 1992, p. 30.

Suzanne Boorsch, William M. Griswold, Elizabeth Wyckoff, Helen Bobritzky Mules, Colta Ives, David W. Kiehl "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection, 1991-1992: Renaissance Europe, Europe 1700-1900, United States 1780-1900." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 50, no. 2, New York, Autumn 1992, p. 29.



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