Lot 108
  • 108

ANNIBALE CARRACCI | Study of a Head, possibly after the antique

10,000 - 15,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Annibale Carracci
  • Study of a Head, possibly after the antique 
  • Black chalk heightened with white chalk on grey paper; an indistinct study of a head in black chalk on the verso ;bears numbering in pen and brown ink, lower right : 8 
  • 201 by 275 mm; 8 by 10 7/8 in


Sale, New York, Sotheby's, 23 January 2008, lot 147
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Catalogue Note

This strong and confidently drawn head study has a sculptural quality which suggests it might be a copy after the antique.  Annibale Carracci drew great inspiration from classical statuary and was able to successfully fuse the art of the past with his own innovative and dynamic style. This fusion is effectively demonstrated in the present study where wide flat forms are used to build up the face, simulating the modulations of sculpted marble, alongside more realistic features, such as the free flowing curls of hair which add life and movement to the drawing.

The impact of classical sculpture on Annibale's work can be seen in all its glory in the decoration of the ceiling of the Farnese Gallery.  For a learned and in-depth account of Annibale's drawings after classical sculpture see Aidan Weston-Lewis, 'Annibale and the Antique' Master Drawings, vol. 30, no. 3, 1992, pp. 287-313.