Anthony van Dyck

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Anthony van Dyck
Study for the Dead Christ
ca. 1635-1640
Black chalk, with white chalk and smudging, on blue laid paper.
10 13/14 x 15 1/2 inches (275 x 393 mm)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913) in 1909.
I, 243

Watermark: none.
The drawing is a study for the painting of the Entombment presented to the monastery of the Friars Minor or Recollects of the Franciscan Order in Antwerp now in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp.
This is a figure study for a painting of the Lamentation of Christ (ca. 1635-40), now at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp. Here, van Dyck revisited a method he had practiced in Rubens's studio to enhance the realistic depiction of key figures in compositions: drawing from the nude model. His approach to the human form differs, however, from that of Rubens. Van Dyck appears to have been more interested in rendering light on flesh than in creating the illusion of a robust, three-dimensional body. As a result, the body of van Dyck's figure is appropriately lifeless, and the light reflections created by the white chalk are hauntingly realistic. -- Exhibition Label, from "Power and Grace: Drawings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens"

Possibly Samuel van Huls, former burgomaster of The Hague; his sale, The Hague, Swart, 14 May 1736, Album M. p. 17, lot 535 ("Antoine van Dyck. Un Christ mort e un St. Jérôme"); William Young Ottley (no mark; see Lugt 2662-65); possibly sale [William Young Ottley], London, T. Philipe, 11-14 April 1804, one of three in lot 429 ("Dead Christ, black chalk, on blue paper, heightened; St. John Preaching...; and another"); George William Reid (no mark; see Lugt 1210); his sale [George William Reid, Esq., F.S.A., Late Keeper of the Prints and Drawings at the British Museum], London, Sotheby's, 26 February-1 March, 1890, lot 585 (to Fairfax Murray for £0.6.0); Charles Fairfax Murray (1849-1919), London and Florence; from whom purchased through Galerie Alexandre Imbert, Rome, in 1909 by Pierpont Morgan (1837-1913), New York (no mark; see Lugt 1509); his son, J. P. Morgan, Jr. (1867-1943), New York.
Associated names: 

Huls, Samuel van, 1655-1734, former owner.
Ottley, William Young, 1771-1836, former owner.
Reid, George William, 1819-1887, former owner.
Murray, Charles Fairfax, 1849-1919, former owner.
Morgan, J. Pierpont (John Pierpont), 1837-1913, former owner.


Tuinen, Ilona van. Power and Grace : Drawings by Rubens, Van Dyck, and Jordaens. New York : Morgan Library & Museum, 2018, no. 11 (repr.)
Collection J. Pierpont Morgan : Drawings by the Old Masters Formed by C. Fairfax Murray. London : Privately printed, 1905-1912, I, 243.
Stampfle, Felice, with the assistance of Ruth S. Kraemer and Jane Shoaf Turner. Netherlandish Drawings of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries and Flemish Drawings of the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries in the Pierpont Morgan Library. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1991, p. 125, no. 273, repr.
100 Master drawings from the Morgan Library & Museum. München : Hirmer, 2008, no. 53, repr. [Achim Riether]

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