Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Guido Bentivoglio, Seated (?), 1623
Brush and brown ink over black chalk (and graphite?)
15 5/8 × 10 3/8 in. (39.6 × 26.3 cm)
Musée des Beaux-Arts de la ville de Paris, Petit Palais, Paris
The most impressive of the few extant drawings for portraits from Van Dyck’s Italian period, this has traditionally been considered a study for the portrait of Cardinal Guido Bentivoglio, also in this exhibition. Despite differences in the pose, the thin face with mustache, goatee, and deep-set eyes and the spiky hem of the lace rocchetto help support this identification. The drawing’s size and use of black chalk underdrawing with bold brushwork set it apart from nearly every other portrait drawing by Van Dyck. It could have served to work out the composition, as well as to show his patron the artist’s intentions for the final result.