Spanish Drawings

 
  • Jusepe de Ribera (c. 1590–1652)
    Man Tied to a Tree, and a Figure Resting
    c. 1630–35
    Red chalk
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Witt Bequest, 1952

    The bound male figure is a recurring theme in Ribera's art. This subtle study may represent the suffering and steadfastness of an unidentified elderly saint. Extending his disproportionately long arm, he seems to address someone beyond the scene. The relationship between the saint and the hunched man at the bottom of the tree remains ambiguous, but they seem to be conceived as contrasting figures.

  • Francisco de Goya y Lucientes (1746–1828)
    Singing and Dancing (Cantar y Bailar)
    c. 1819–20
    Point of the brush and black ink, with scraping
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

    An old crone is shown floating in the air, strumming a guitar and singing with an open mouth, while another woman sits on the ground, holding her nose and gazing up her companion's skirts. The spoon and bowl at lower left may imply that a magical substance caused the singing woman's levitation. Later in his career Goya filled several of his private albums with imaginative inventions, ranging from the sinister to the ironic.

  • Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)
    Female Nude with Her Arm Resting on a Chair
    1920–21
    Charcoal
    Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978 

    © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

    Monumentally conceived figures appear frequently in Picasso's work of the early 1920s. This female nude, towering over a chair, was first planned as a smaller figure, perhaps partially draped, as the emphatic curved strokes across her middle indicate. The outlines of this initial figure are clearly visible, for instance below the contour of the shoulders. Picasso modeled the figure by lightly smudging the friable charcoal on the paper, giving it a sense of volume.

     

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