Skip to Content

Open today 10–11 a.m. members | 11 a.m.–6 p.m. public. Learn more.

Nude Youth in the Pose of the Spinario

A work made of black chalk, heightened with white chalk, on tan laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of black chalk, heightened with white chalk, on tan laid paper.

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.

Status

On loan to UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley for Pure Drawing: Seven Centuries of Art from the Gray Collection

Department

Prints and Drawings

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 × 188 mm

Credit Line

Gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray

Reference Number

2019.863

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/202249/manifest.json

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.

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share