Head study


Head study, painter of the seventeenth-eighteenth century, oil on canvas, 67X54 cm.

Already attributed to Dirck Van Baburen (Utrecht, 1594 – 1624), the painting is a study, aiming to exclude that it is a surviving fragment of a larger work. To confirm is the unfinished character and the speed of some pieces, just look at the way in which the ear has been outlined and the uniformity of the drafts that describe the drapery. The painter seems to have concentrated particularly to describe the cold brightness of Caravaggio, intense and suitable to give shape to the volume that emerges strongly from the dark background. From a stylistic point of view, however, the work has a decidedly darker and more luminous tonality with results closer to those of Stomer (Amersfoort, about 1600 – Sicily, after 1650) than to those of Manfredi in the first decades of the century. Even the coldness of the light seems to respond better to the comparison with the northern sensibility of Mathias.