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Past Exhibition

Study of the Head of a Lady Facing Left

black chalk, faint sketch of woman facing left with curls

Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
Study of the Head of a Lady Facing Left, ca. 1635–40
Black chalk on light-brown (formerly blue) paper
9 13/16 × 8 3/16 in. (25 × 20.8 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Rogers Fund, 1926

This head study, until recently attributed to Peter Lely, is one of the more detailed portrait drawings of Van Dyck’s English period. The lady’s pointed nose and chin and curly hair are precisely recorded, while her dress is indicated only with the faintest outlines. Despite its small size, the drawing makes the somewhat forbidding appearance of the woman remarkably present.