Nude Youth in the Pose of the Spinario

Date:

1610/16

Artist:

Peter Paul Rubens
Flemish, 1577–1640

About this artwork

Italy, specifically ancient Roman sculpture, profoundly influenced Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens. The artist himself wrote that “in order to attain the highest perfection in painting, it is necessary to understand the antiques … to be so thoroughly possessed of this knowledge that it may diffuse itself everywhere.”

This drawing of a live studio model derives from the artist’s firsthand acquaintance with the Hellenistic bronze Spinario (also called Boy with Thorn, 1st century BCE), which was one of the most celebrated and copied sculptures in Rome. Absorbing antiquity without outright copying it, Rubens fully transformed his image from cold stone to vibrant flesh.

On View

Prints and Drawings, Gallery 126

Artist

Peter Paul Rubens

Title

Nude Youth in the Pose of the Spinario

Origin

Flanders

Date

Made 1610–1616

Medium

Black chalk, heightened with white chalk, on tan laid paper

Inscriptions

Inscribed recto, lower right, in pen and black ink: Peter Paul Rubens f[ecit] 1577 + 1640"; lower right, in graphite: "Rubens" (partially erased)

Dimensions

280 x 188 mm

Credit Line

Gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray

Reference Number

2019.863

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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