Watermark: Horn with strap, inside crowned shield over "4" and "WR".
Most likely dating to around 1620, when Jordaens was associated with Rubens's Antwerp studio, this impressive large-scale drawing represents a figure wearing the helmet and winged sandals of Mercury, seen from behind. The artist based the figure's pose on an ivory statuette of Mercury designed by Rubens, now at the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg. However, instead of faithfully following Rubens's prototype, Jordaens transformed Mercury's male frame by giving the figure a distinctly female anatomy. Notable for its pristine condition, the drawing was executed using a complex system of hatching in black and red chalks, with the addition of vibrant washes and bodycolor, and is an excellent example of the very idiosyncratic drawing technique that Jordaens developed in the 1620s and 30s.
Petit-Horry, Jacques, former owner.
Quadvlieg, Bert, former owner.