This polished sheet with ten clustered heads is a fine example of the artist’s so-called pictorial heads (teste pittoriche), a peculiar type of drawing that originated with the Bolognese artist Gaetano Gandolfi (1734–1802) and which his son Mauro continued with great commercial success. Included are heads of different types: old bearded men, portraits, women with complex hairdos, and youths with laurel crowns inspired by antiquity. With regularly spaced cross-hatching and a dense system of dots to create shadows and volumes, Gandolfi’s signature style of draftsmanship renders form as if in a print.
Artist: Mauro Gandolfi (Italian, Bologna 1764–1834 Bologna)Date: ca. 1798Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush with blue, rose, yellow, and brown wash, over black chalk. Framing lines in pen and brown inkAccession: 61.130.2On view in:Not on view