The Jesuit Nicolas Trigault in Chinese Costume

black and blue-green chalk sketch of man standing in Chinese costume and hat

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
The Jesuit Nicolas Trigault in Chinese Costume, 1617
Black chalk and blue-green fabricated chalk
16 3/4 × 9 5/8 in. (42.4 × 24.4 cm)
The Morgan Library & Museum, New York

Like Rubens’s drawing, this sketch must have been made on the occasion of the visit of the Jesuit Nicolas Trigault to Antwerp in January 1617. The two artists probably shared the same piece of blue-green chalk to highlight the collar and hem of the priest’s robe, but otherwise the drawings could not differ more. Apart from the pastel, Van Dyck restricted himself to black chalk and treated the costume and Trigault’s features in a much more summary and angular manner than Rubens. This drawing demonstrates that by age seventeen the artist had completely refined his graphic style.

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