Gaspar de Crayer (Antwerp 1584 - Ghent 1669)
Figure study for ‘The Adoration of the Shepherds’
red chalk heightened with white on blue paper
350 x 305 mm
Private collection, Belgium
A study for the right-hand figure of a shepherd carrying a sheep in the Rijksmuseum’s 'The Adoration of the Shepherds', c. 1640-1650. To the left-hand side of the sheet is a separate study of a hand, which relates to the right hand of the same figure. Whilst the figure’s pose is closely followed in the painting, certain details such as the shepherd’s facial hair, the drapery and the angle of the arms, are altered. It is clear however that the study served as de Crayer’s model and the pentimenti that surround the shepherd’s arm in the painting visualise de Crayer’s continued process of exploration.
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