Head of a Woman: Study for The Happy Mother (L'Heureuse mère) (detail), 1810, Pierre-Paul Prud'hon. Black and white chalk, stumped, on blue paper. The J. Paul Getty Museum

Finding Form


West Pavilion, Plaza Level

Line by line and layer by layer, an artist conjures a three-dimensional world from a two-dimensional sheet of paper. Through an array of media and techniques—hatched ink lines, varying densities of wash, white chalk highlights—these draftsmen generate form, likeness, and depth, yielding an arresting presence. Featuring celebrated masterworks from the 1500s to the 1800s, all from the Getty's permanent collection, this focused exhibition demonstrates how artists have performed this magic across time and place.

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