Rocks in front of grotesque heads
Jacques de, III Gheyn (ca. 1596-1641)
Pen and ink on paper
Width: 16.4 cm; Height: 20.3 cm;
Inscribed & chalk (red), recto, diss Is Jeyts
Acquisition (source, method, date)
Witt, Robert Clermont (Sir); bequest; 1952
About this work
Concealing faces in rocks, thereby uniting the fantastical and the real world, has been a longstanding practice in the graphic arts. This imaginative study excels in inscribing more than twenty highly expressive heads of humans and animals in four lumps of stone. Artfully conceived, the sheet demonstrates De Gheyn’s exceptional powers of invention. However, the composition lacks the verve of his skilful handling of the quill pen. It was probably executed in the master’s workshop, possibly by his son the engraver Jacques de Gheyn III (around 1596-1641).
(Permanent collection label)
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Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London