Standing Youth Seen from Behind Holding a Bowl (Ganymede?)

Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) Italian

Not on view

Traditionally identified as a study for the figure of Ganymede – the beautiful youth abducted by Zeus – this drawing has since been titled "Standing Boy (or Youth) Holding a Bowl," as neither a Ganymede nor this particular youthful figure can be found in any of Guercino's extant works (Bean 1964b, no. 31).

Jacob Bean (1967, no. 46, p. 40) dated the drawing to the artist's middle period, the 1630s and 1640s, because its "subtle contrasts of light and shade so successfully indicate the modeling of back and head..." Bean thought the free application of red chalk to differ from the more polished red chalk figure drawings of Guercino's done in the 1650s. The general and dynamic contrast of flesh areas smoothly stumped and draperies quickly sketched is typical of Guercino's drawings of the 1630s to 1640s. In this drawing, the outlines of the crown of the head have been somewhat erased or rubbed out. This drawing evidently belongs in the 1640s, as Julian Brooks noted in connection to the Bathsheba and her Maid drawing (Coll. Mr. and Mrs. Edward D. Baker) for a documented, now lost painting of 1640 (Brooks 2006, no. 28, p. 83.)

Standing Youth Seen from Behind Holding a Bowl (Ganymede?), Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) (Italian, Cento 1591–1666 Bologna), Red chalk

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