Exhibitions/ Art Object

A Sheet of Heads

Artist:
Mauro Gandolfi (Italian, Bologna 1764–1834 Bologna)
Date:
late 18th–mid-19th century
Medium:
Pen and brown ink
Dimensions:
11 7/16 x 8 1/16 in. (29 x 20.5 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
1975.1.325
Not on view
This polished sheet with ten clustered heads is a fine example of the artist’s so-called pictorial heads (teste pittoriche), a peculiar type of drawing that originated with the Bolognese artist Gaetano Gandolfi (1734–1802) and which his son Mauro continued with great commercial success. Included are heads of different types: old bearded men, portraits, women with complex hairdos, and youths with laurel crowns inspired by antiquity. With regularly spaced cross-hatching and a dense system of dots to create shadows and volumes, Gandolfi’s signature style of draftsmanship renders form as if in a print.
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