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Two Studies of a Roma Woman and a Roma Boy in a Large Hat

A work made of pen and black iron gall ink on tan laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of pen and black iron gall ink on tan laid paper.


c. 1605


Jacques de Gheyn II
Dutch, 1565-1629

About this artwork

Jacques De Gheyn II employed a stylized graphic language of hatching and cross-hatching to capture the individual features and garments of the figures represented here, which include a woman shown from two vantage points and a young boy. The artist used iron gall ink made from the protective growth an oak tree produces after a wasp lays its eggs inside the tree branch. The ink is deep brown and almost black in some areas. Because iron gall ink contains a high concentration of tannic acid, however, it dissolves paper over time. Above the right foot of the Roma woman the damaged paper was repaired.

On several occasions De Gheyn represented figures from the Roma or Romani community, itinerant members of Dutch society whose origins can be traced to northern India. Often finding shelter at the outskirts of cities, the Roma frequently took up informal trades like peddling and fortune telling.


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Prints and Drawings


Jacob de Gheyn, II


Two Studies of a Roma Woman and a Roma Boy in a Large Hat


Netherlands (Artist's nationality)




Pen and black iron gall ink on tan laid paper


Inscribed verso, upper left, in graphite: "6" (on its side); center, in graphite: "Middleton"; lower left, in pen and brown ink: "R/PB" (in a triangle (twice)); small circle with two diagonal lines extending below; lower center, in graphite: "Jacob de Gheyn / J d G"; lower center, in pen and brown ink: "Van der Veen"


23 × 26 cm (9 1/16 × 10 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Tiffany and Margaret Blake

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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