Head of a Woman
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Jacob Jordaens
Flemish, about 1635
Black and red chalk and dark brown wash, heightened with white bodycolor
9 15/16 x 7 3/8 in.

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To create a dynamic composition out of a single head, Jacob Jordaens used two colors of chalk plus bodycolor and a wash. The young woman's broad face fills the sheet squarely, with her eyes demurely cast down and lips pursed. Bold red chalk hatching suggests the ruddy color of her cheeks, while curving strokes of black chalk layered with lines of wash form her wispy hair. Dark areas of wash around her eyes give them depth. Throughout his career, Jordaens made many such studies of heads drawn from life, of his wife and of other women.

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