Guercino

Guercino (1591–1666)
A Child Seen from Behind, Standing Between His Mother's Knees
c. 1625
Red chalk with stumping
11.9 x 80.3 inches
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

This unusually intimate image of motherly care demonstrates Guercino's masterly use of red chalk. It draws much of its quality from the contrast between the delicately modeled body of the infant, whose soft skin is rendered by the smudging and stumping of the chalk, and the freely but precisely sketched folds of the mother's sheltering garments.