Eye Candy for Today: Johann Tischbein chalk portrait

Profile Portrait of Miss Wieling, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein, red chalk drawing

Profile Portrait of Miss Wieling, Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein

Red chalk on paper, 14 x 10 inches (35 x 26 cm). In the Metropolitan Museum of Art

This forceful but delicate profile portrait is made graphically strong by the artist’s use of dramatic value contrast between the face and background. His approach is precise, with careful attention given to the edges — delineated with a lost and found line — where the face meets the background tone.

Despite the rather formal profile pose and the exacting nature of the approach, Tischbein’s confident control of the chalk gives the rendering a freedom that keeps the drawing from feeling stiff. The handling of the mouth is particularly sensitive.

 
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