Curator‘s Comments

Head of a Woman displays a drawing technique for which Barocci was renowned. The drawing uses colored chalks on a medium-toned blue paper (now faded to gray) to reproduce the coloristic and atmospheric effects of the artist’s paintings. This drawing was used as a study for one of Barocci’s major paintings, Madonna del Gatto, in which he worked out the tonal relationships for the painting. He also used this drawing as a model for a figure in the painting Martyrdom of San Vitale. Evidence suggests that Barocci kept many of his compositional studies to use as models for several different works.

Federico Barocci. Urbino, 1535?–1612, Urbino

Head of a Woman study for the painting Madonna del Gatto, ca. 1574

Pink, ochre, and brown chalks (possibly pastel) stumped on grey antique laid paper


ID Number: SC 1960:99