Study of a Hand and Drapery

black and red chalk sketch in draped clothing

Peter Lely, born Pieter van der Faes (1618–1680)
Study of a Hand and Drapery, ca. 1658
Black and red chalk, heightened with white chalk, on gray (formerly blue) paper
12 5/8 × 8 3/8 in. (32.1 × 21.2 cm)
Detroit Institute of Arts; Founders Society Purchase, William H. Murphy Fund

Once believed to be a study for the figure of James Stanley, Earl of Derby in Van Dyck’s family portrait on view in the East Gallery, this drawing has since been recognized as a study by the Dutch-born Peter Lely, who succeeded Van Dyck as England’s foremost portraitist. It is close to a gesture in a portrait by Lely of John and Sarah Earle. Although his technique and style recall some drawings by Van Dyck, Lely used red chalk in addition to black and white and drew the hands in a more precise way. As Van Dyck often did, Lely worked on paper that was originally blue. The irregular borders of the drawing indicate that it was never cut down, as were most surviving seventeenth-century drawings.

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