The practice of creating, keeping, and re-using studio head studies for later transcription or free adaptation was first developed Frans Floris in the Southern Netherlands. The same practice was later embraced by artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens, each of whom would have been very much aware of, and involved in, the production of figure studies for communal studio use. These were often recycled in a sense, or used on numerous occasions, and seem to have functioned in certain cases as figure types that could be used repeatedly.
An X-Ray image of the present work reveals the original presence of a hand below the head that is second from the right (fig. 1).
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