Study for "The Beheading of St. John the Baptist"
Charles Sprague Pearce
The expatriate artist Charles Sprague Pearce masterfully exploited the textured paper surface and powdery charcoal medium to create this beautifully modeled head study for a now-lost monumental painting (see illustration). Details such as the figure’s protruding collarbone, bags under the eye, and stoic gaze convey the character of Saint John the Baptist as a man whose faith remains unshakable in the face of physical suffering and imminent death.
Crayon on paper
sheet: 6 1/8 x 7 in. (15.6 x 17.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed in charcoal, lower left: "CSP" [in monogram]
Inscribed on recto lower left in charcoal: "Fragment"; on verso in center in graphite: "Decollation du St Jean / Baptiste / Charles Sprague Pearce"
Gift of Sidney M. Katz
Black crayon (probably Conté) on cream, medium-weight, moderately textured laid paper
This item is not on view
Charles Sprague Pearce (American, 1851-1914). Study for "The Beheading of St. John the Baptist," ca. 1881. Crayon on paper, sheet: 6 1/8 x 7 in. (15.6 x 17.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Sidney M. Katz, 85.243.2 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 85.243.2_PS4.jpg)
overall, 85.243.2_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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