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Click here for larger image of Two Studies of a Female Nude from behindClick for larger image

Two Studies of a Female Nude from behind by Peter Paul Rubens


This drawing by Rubens, executed towards the end of his life, is linked to the Slade collections through Henry Tonks, Slade teacher and Professor 1892-1930. The drawing was in Tonks' collection until his death when he bequeathed it to UCL where it became part of the teaching collection. The links between this drawing and Tonks' own drawing practice (See UCL No. EDC 2783) are clear. Rubens defines the figure almost exclusively in line with very little modelling. The female anatomy is described purely through small changes in the directions of the chalk line which create the contour and describe form. Tonks said of figure drawing 'the human figure, whose constant study only makes me find it more beautiful, seems for its beauty to depend upon the constant departure and return from the main directional line'. The sinuous line with which Rubens describes this female nude Tonks' these ideas of the simple beauty of the human form expressed with the utmost economy of line.
Artist:Peter Paul Rubens
Artwork type:drawing
Material:red chalk on paper
Measurements:305 x 458 mm
Technique:red chalk
Date:1630
Location:College Art Collections, UCL (Slade School Collection)
Culture:Flemish
Rights owner:College Art Collections, UCL
Rights status:UK HE use only
Institution:Slade School of Art

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