A Boy Helping his Master to Dress

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A Boy Helping his Master to Dress about 1620 - 1625
Although Guercino made numerous drawings in preparation for his paintings, he also made many informal sketches of everyday scenes for the amusement of his friends. Here, a man stands, head held boldly, while a young boy gathers the fabric of his overgarment to lace it up. The man assists the boy by pulling the ends of the fabric together. The scene has a humorous tone - the haughty master literally has his nose in the air which is inappropriate to the situation, while the young boy is engrossed in his menial task. Guercino’s characteristically vibrant pen and wash technique brings the small sketch to life.

Glossary Open


A transparent layer of diluted ink or watercolour.



  • Acc. No. D 1608
  • Medium Pen, brown ink and wash on pale brown paper, laid down
  • Size 18.10 x 15.00 cm
  • Credit David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910