Profile Head of an Old Man (“Niccolò da Uzzano”), Peter Paul Rubens
Red chalk and red chalk wash, over a layer of opaque light gray. Roughly 9 X 6 inches (22 x 16 cm). In the collection of the Morgan Library and Museum.
In this beautifully realized chalk drawing the bony geometry of the face and the suggestion of veins in the sitter’s temple and neck suggest carful observation on Ruben’s part.
The masterful tone work is a combination of textural chalk marks and a wash made either by wetting the chalk in areas or by creating a wash from chalk particles suspended in water and applying it with a brush like an ink wash.