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Sebastiano Ricci (Belluno 1659-Venice 1734)

The head of Simon the Pharisee c.1728-30

Red and black chalk | 31.1 x 24.2 cm | RCIN 907134

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A preparatory study for the figure in Sebastiano’s painting of the Magdalen anointing Christ’s feet, where Simon looks on in disbelief as Christ allows himself to be anointed by a prostitute. Sebastiano’s expressive use of chalks followed the example of earlier artists such as Jacopo Bassano (c.1510–1592) and Federico Zuccaro (c.1542–1609).