Study of Drapery

Jean-Baptiste Joseph Wicar French

Not on view

Through careful shading, subtle white highlights, and areas of reserve, Wicar conveys the intricate folds of toga fabric gathered, tucked, and draped around the model. As the squaring of the sheet suggests, this drawing was made in preparation for a painting, specifically for the figure of Augustus who appears at the center of "Virgil Reading the Aeneid to Augustus and Livia" (1818), commissioned by Count Giovanni Battista Sommariva (1760–1826) for his villa on Lake Como, where it remains today. Wicar spent most of his career in Italy, where he amassed an important collection of drawings by Italian masters including Raphael (1483–1520), whose influence can be discerned in this study.

Study of Drapery, Jean-Baptiste Joseph Wicar (French, Lille 1762–1834 Rome), Black chalk, heightened with white, squared in black chalk, on beige paper

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