Figure Studies (recto); Figure Studies (verso)

As he worked out compositional arrangements and poses of figures, Karel Skréta filled this sheet with studies of the Virgin and Child adored by saints. On the recto, figures pour across the page almost cinematically, their flowing rhythm lending the entire sheet the feeling of being a single idea. Two compositional studies on the verso display Skréta's sensitivity to the ability of a few well-chosen lines to describe everything. At the left, his economical, delicate lines suggest drapery, relationships, and form. On the right, he made further by gently going over selected red chalk lines with pen and ink. The juxtaposition of pen-and-ink with red chalk also shows how different media affected the quality of Skréta's line.

Red chalk (recto); red chalk and brown ink (verso) (about 1660)

by Karel Skréta (Bohemian, 1610-1674)

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