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Nude Male Figures Bearing the Bodies of their Dead Companions

A work made of pen and black ink and brush and reddish-brown wash on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of pen and black ink and brush and reddish-brown wash on cream laid paper.

Date:

c. 1779

Artist:

James Jefferys
English, 1751-1784

About this artwork

James Jefferys’s powerful and eccentric drawing demonstrates the emotional intensity, exaggerated gesture, simplified form, and bold modeling that defined the new style forged by Henry Fuseli, whose circle Jefferys frequented when both artists lived in Rome in the 1770s.
While the exact subject of the drawing is obscure, it appears that the two dead youths are being carried by their companions to a funeral pyre. An almost obsessive use of vertical ink hatching reminiscent of printmaking (in which Jefferys was trained) is accompanied by broad passages of brown wash to establish location and mood. While the artist occasionally uses light brown wash for modeling, for the most part the flesh of his strongly outlined nude figures is defined by the untouched cream-colored paper.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

James Jefferys

Title

Nude Male Figures Bearing the Bodies of their Dead Companions

Origin

England

Date

1774–1784

Medium

Pen and black ink and brush and reddish-brown wash on cream laid paper

Inscriptions

Inscribed verso lower right, in pen and brown ink: “91” (?)

Dimensions

355 × 564 mm

Credit Line

Harry B. and Bessie K. Braude Memorial Fund

Reference Number

2017.197

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.

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https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/238624/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.

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