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.

Head of a Woman study for the painting Madonna del Gatto

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

Purchased

ID Number: SC 1960:99