Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 15771640)
Red chalk; 15 1/2 x 10 1/4 in. (39.5 x 26 cm)
Inscribed at lower left: P Rubens, 342
Recto: The Virgin Adored by Saints, pen and brown ink, ca. 1627
Purchase, 2001 Benefit Fund, 2002 (2002.12b)
This drawing was made by Rubens as a young man on his first trip to Rome, in 16012. It is a study of the back view of the Belvedere Torso, an antique sculpture dating to the first century B.C., which belonged to the Colonna family in the seventeenth century and is today in the Vatican Museums. Using red chalk and a technique of soft overlapping hatching, Rubens produced lifelike results that belie the marble material of his subject.