About this artwork

This muscular torso was drawn from life. Reni used black chalk to describe the outline of the body and both black and red chalk to define the modelling applied in his customary feathery technique. White highlights are also included which stand out against the grey paper. The torso and the sketch of a club-wielding arm on the same sheet were preparatory studies for a painting of 'Hercules Slaying the Hydra' (Louvre, Paris). It was one of four celebrated canvases illustrating feats of Hercules which Reni painted for the Duke of Mantua around 1620.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    Study of a Male Torso, with a Separate Sketch of a Raised Hand Holding a Club
  • date created:
    1620
  • materials:
    Black and red chalk, heightened with white, on grey paper
  • measurements:
    25.20 x 35.90 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910
  • accession number:
    D 711
  • gallery:
    View by Appointment
  • subject:
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Guido Reni

Guido Reni