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Head of a Young Boy in Profile to the Right
Giovanni Battista Piazzetta's paintings of religious subjects show him to be one of the last distinctive talents of Venetian Baroque art. The large, appealing, and important body of drawings he produced establishes his position as one fo the most recognizable and sought-after of old master draftsmen. Many of them are independent finished works done for their own sake.The Reilly Head of A Young Boy relates to a painting, The Young Peasant, now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. As a study for a painting and an early work by the artist (ca. 1715*1718), this sheet can be singled out as a most significant drawing. George Knox has identified two other drawings of the same, young, male model which are today in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the British Museum. Even though these sheets are early drawings, they clearly evidence Piazzetta's remarkably naturalistic style and his striking facility in the use of black and while chalks.
from Spiro, Master Drawings: Recent Gifts from the John D. Reilly Collection (Notre Dame, 2001)