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A Sheet of Anatomical Studies

A work made of pen and brown ink on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of pen and brown ink on ivory laid paper.




Peter Paul Rubens
Flemish, 1577-1640

About this artwork

In addition to his study of Classical antiquity, Peter Paul Rubens also developed his sense of ideal anatomical form through proto-scientific treatises, some of which represented the muscles of the body with the skin flayed. Rubens adopted this manner, known as écorché, for his compelling representation of two interlocking forearms and a face. A virtuoso performance of the use of pen and ink (perhaps the most unforgiving media since it cannot be easily blended or erased), the drawing belongs to a group of about a dozen similar sheets that Rubens intended to publish as an anatomical treatise. The project was never realized, but one of the members of his workshop distributed a series of engravings years after the artist’s death that included these images together with other highlights of the artist’s repertoire.

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Prints and Drawings


Peter Paul Rubens


A Sheet of Anatomical Studies






Pen and brown ink on ivory laid paper


271 × 188 mm

Credit Line

Regenstein Acquisition Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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