Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Head of a Woman

Anonymous, Bohemian, 15th century
ca. 1405–10
Watercolor on vellum
sheet: 3 9/16 x 2 3/4 in. (9.1 x 7 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, several members of The Chairman's Council and Jean A. Bonna Gifts, 2010
Accession Number:
Not on view
The refinement of the International Gothic Style and the flowering of the visual arts in Prague at the court of Emperor Charles IV and his successors are both apparent in this sheet, which is among the few drawings of this period to have survived. Most of these drawings are likely to have once been part of pattern books, which artists kept in their workshops to provide them with models for paintings and illuminations. This drawing, one of the most outstanding of its kind and apparently unique in its use of color, probably served as a model for representations of the Virgin. Its style has been linked to a sheet (now in the Cleveland Museum of Art) from the so-called Seitenstetten Antiphonary, made for a Bohemian monastery about 1405, and it can be attributed to an artist active in the workshop that produced that manuscript. Its importance as a relatively precisely attributed early fifteenth-century drawing is matched by its exquisite beauty.
Friedrich Falk; Moeller Fine Art, New York; Private Collection, United States; Vendor: Adrian Eeles
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Dürer and Beyond: Early Central European Drawings in New York Collections," April 3, 2012–September 3, 2012.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Prague: The Crown of Bohemia 1347 - 1437. Exh. cat. Edited by Barbara Drake Boehm, Edited by Jiri Fajt, New York, 2005, cat. no. 118, p. 276, ill.

Stijn Alsteens "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2008-2010." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2010, p. 15, ill.

Stijn Alsteens, Carmen C. Bambach, Perrin Stein "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 2008-2010." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 68, no. 2, Fall 2010, p. 15 (entry written by Stijn Alsteens), ill.

Stijn Alsteens, Freyda Spira Dürer and Beyond: Central European Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1400-1700 Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2012, cat. 2 (entry written by Freyda Spira); p. x (introduction written by Stijn Alsteens), ill.

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