Portrait of a Bearded Man Wearing a Ruff, François Quesnel   ?, Antoine Caron   ?
François Quesnel and Antoine Caron
Portrait of a Bearded Man Wearing a Ruff
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François Quesnel ?
orAntoine Caron ?

Portrait of a Bearded Man Wearing a Ruff, ca. 1590 – 1600


Blatt
240 x 182 mm
Inventory Number
1064
Object Number
1064 Z
Status
Can be presented in the study hall of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)

Texts

About the Work

Elegantly drawn likenesses which often concentrate on facial features and the head and merely hint at the rest of the figure and the clothes were popular and widespread in aristocratic circles and the haute bourgeoisie in France during the late sixteenth century. This is the context in which this drawing, executed in different-coloured chalks, of the stern-looking gentleman with the carefully trimmed moustache and pointed beard came about. The artist has managed to capture his individual characteristics and, through the combination of rubbed colour and structured lines, to convey an impression of the surface of his skin and the full, bushy hair. At the same time, the portrait retains a certain discreet, slightly formulaic distance. The drawing technique and structure of the composition create a painterly effect, yet we can assume that this sheet did not serve as preparation for a painting but was produced as a completed portrait and was preserved as such.

This early example of the rich tradition of French portrait art dates from the era of the Wars of Religion in France, a time of great turmoil in which the last Valois kings were eventually succeeded by Henri IV from the House of Bourbon. It is classified alongside a large group of sheets with similar drawings, most of which are preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris and which are considered to be the work of François Quesnel. Little is known about him other than he came from a French family of artists, worked for the French court in the 1570s and drew a town plan of Paris at the beginning of the seventeenth century. For this reason, the attribution must remain uncertain. Elsewhere, the somewhat older artist Antoine Caron (1521-1599) has been named as the possible creator of the drawings in question.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Portrait of a Bearded Man Wearing a Ruff
Draughtsman
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Material
Technique
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Captions Added Later
Verso bezeichnet oben mittig (mit Bleistift): 16; unten mittig: Pierre Dumonstier le vieux
Verso Stempel des Städelschen Kunstinstituts, Frankfurt am Main (Lugt 2356), mit zugehöriger Inventarnummer
Watermark
  • Weintrauben

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum, Foto: U. Edelmann

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif

Iconclass

Primary
  • 61B111 anonymous historical person portrayed alone
  • 31D14 adult man
Secondary

Research and Discussion

Research

Historic Attribution

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Last import

03.09.2019