This expressive drawing by Wolfgang Huber, one of the greatest painters of the Danube school, is part of a group of nine head studies in the same medium and technique, all initialed and dated 1522. These sheets offer penetrating essays on physiognomy, obscuring the boundaries between observation and imagination, and may have evolved from Huber's study of Leonardo's work. The drawing exhibited here was preparatory for the head of a young Roman soldier in the left background of the "Raising of the Cross" (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), a composition densely packed with the faces of onlookers of richly varied characterization. In the drawing, the slightly foreshortened, three-quarter view of the young man's head accentuates the heroic anxiety of his features. Huber's bold use of the drawing medium—chalk and wash—differs significantly from that of his other drawings and that of his northern contemporaries. It may have been a response to contemporary north Italian techniques.
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Title:Bust of a Man
Artist:Wolfgang Huber (German, Feldkirch/Vorarlberg ca. 1485/90–1553 Passau)
Medium:Black and white chalk on off-white paper prepared with red gouache
Dimensions:Overall: 11 9/16 x 7 7/8 in. (29.4 x 20 cm)
Credit Line:Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1950
Signature: Signed with initials in black chalk at left center: W.H. Dated upper right: 1.5.22
Count Harrach, Vienna; Vendor: William H. Schab
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 21, 1996–January 6, 1997.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," November 30, 1998–February 8, 1999.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1400–1700," April 3–September 3, 2012.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "About Face: Human Expression on Paper," July 27–December 13, 2015.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints: Journeys," July 31–October 30, 2018.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Light and Tone: Selections from the Department of Drawings and Prints," May 18, 2023–September 5, 2023.
Joseph Schönbrunner, Joseph Meder Handzeichnungen alter Meister aus der Albertina un anderen Sammlungen. vol. 6, Vienna, 1896–1908, fig. no. 716, ill.
Rudolf Riggenbach Der Maler und Zeichner Wolfgang Huber. PhD diss., 1907 68-69, note 2.
Hermann Voss Der Ursprung des Donaustiles: ein Stück Entwickelungsgeschichte deutscher Malerei. 1907, fig. no. Plate II, fig. 3, 21, ill.
Peter Halm "Zu Wolf Huber und der Kunst des Donaustils." Die Christliche Kunst. vol. 5, Munich, 1908–1909, 78, ill.
Martin Weinberger Wolfgang Huber. Leipzig, 1930, 124, 136.
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Smithsonian Institution German Drawings: Masterpieces from Five Centuries. A Loan Exhibition Sponsored by The Federal Republic of Germany and Circulated by the Smithsonian Institution. Exh. cat., MMA: May 10-June 10, 1956; also National Gallery of Art, Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; M.H. de Young Museum, San Franciso. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Washington D.C., 1956, cat. no. 172.
Great Master Drawings of Seven Centuries Exhibition in Benefit of Columbia University, held at M. Knoedler and Company. New York, 1959, cat. no. 27, fig. no. XXV, 34, ill.
Alfred Stange Malerei der Donauschule. 2nd. Munich, 1971, fig. no. 191, 100-101, ill.
Patricia Rose Wold Huber Studies: Aspects of Renaissance Thought and Practice in Danube School Painting. PhD diss., 1977 fig. no. 33, 63-65, 246, ill.
Franz Winzinger Wolf Huber Das Gesamtwerk. 2 vols., 1979, cat. no. 127, ill.
Zeichnungen aus der Sammlung des Kurfürsten Carl Theodor: Ausstellung zum 225 jährigen Bestehen der Staatlichen Graphischen Sammlung München. Holm Bevers, Munich, 1983, cat. no. under cat. 109, 90, note 1.
Eckhart Schaar Von Dürer bis Baselitz: Deutsche Zeichnungen aus dem Kupferstichkabinett der Hamburger Kunsthalle Ex. cat. Hamburg, 1989, cat. no. under cat. 14, 38.
Hans Mielke, Christian Müller From Schongauer to Holbein: Master Drawings from Basel and Berlin. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. 1999, cat. no. under cat. 132, 296.
Rainer Schoch 100 Meister-Zeichnungen aus der Graphischen Sammlung der Universität Erlangen-Nuremberg. Exh. cat., Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nürnberg, Mar. 6-June 8. 2008, cat. no. under cat. 66, 174.
Stijn Alsteens, Freyda Spira Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1400-1700 Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2012, cat. 24 (entry written by Freyda Spira); p. ix, xii, xiii (introduction written by Stijn Alsteens), ill.
Erwin Pokorny "A Drawing in the Metropolitan Museum Reattributed from Hans Baldung to Wolf Huber" in Master Drawings. vol. 59, no. 4, Winter 2021, p. 437, ill. fig, 5.
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