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.