Details



FLEMISH SCHOOL, circa 1570

A Red Deer (Cervus elaphus), in Profile Facing Left. Pen and brown and grey ink over graphite, watercolour and gouache. 29.3 x 24.8 cm, mounted on an album sheet 35 x 27.5 cm. “Ciervo” inscribed in Spanish.

This depiction of a red deer also comes from the so-called Charles V Album. A large number of the drawings it contains are kept in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The noble animal, which was undoubtedly drawn from nature, is shown in regal pose and fills almost the entire picture. The ground beneath its feet and the scattered stones are rendered summarily in watercolour. The remarkable artistic quality of the drawing indicates that it was made by the same author who created the previous images of two predatory cats. The very scrupulous and life-like rendering of the anatomy and the skin reveals an identical method of drawing, and the vivid expressiveness of the imposing deer is certainly comparable.

The artist’s elegant penwork enables him to convey the texture of the fur, which is denser and hairier around the neck, in a deceptively realistic manner, while he uses watercolour and gouache to capture the nuances of the reddish-brown skin with great colouristic refinement. The rendering of the animal’s head is also quite magnificent. The nostrils and mouth are soft and moist and the precision of the highlight makes the eye look astonishingly alert and vigilant. The drawing probably served as a companion piece to the image of a deer dated 1570 which belongs to the same album (Rijksmuseum, inv. no. RP-T-1952-350 A). The rendering of the slightly sloping ground is completely identical.