Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens
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The Workings of the Studio: Head Studies, Portrait and Genre
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Peter Paul Rubens
Head of a Negro, ca. 1618-20
Oil on panel, 45.7 x 36.8 cm
The Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, New York, inv. 1971.40

Catalog Entry by Marjorie E. Wieseman

This simple life study of a man's downturned head exemplifies Rubens's keen mastery of physiognomy and expression. The man looks down and to his right, allowing the light emanating from upper left to softly sculpt the contours of his face. His slightly furrowed brow and pensive expression express a sense of concentration or concern. By leaving much of the panel's light ground bare, Rubens intensifies the contrast with the man's deep, burnished skin tones...

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