Studies of the Head of Abraham Grapheus
Studies of the Head of Abraham Grapheus

Jacob Jordaens  Studies of the Head of Abraham Grapheus

This oil sketch of an older man was made by Jacob Jordaens. He made two detail studies of this rugged head which he could use on his paintings, for instance to represent a common man. In fact, two instances can be found in his oeuvre where he used this man as a model, once as an evangelist and once as a satyr. This sketch shows us Jordaens's technique and power of observation in their purest form. So who was this man who was drawn realistic here?

Jacob Jordaens  Studies of the Head of Abraham Grapheus

Abraham de Graeff, alias Grapheus, was about 65 years old when Jordaens made this study of him in 1620. He was a "knaap", or secretary, of the Antwerp St.-Luke's Guild. Several other artists used the expressive figure of Grapheus as a model, among them Cornelis de Vos and Anthony van Dyck.

Size

H: 45,2 cm
W: 52 cm

Medium

Oil on paper, mounted on panel

Year

1620-1621