Sculptor Alessandro Algardi (1598-1654) used drawing as a key part of his design process. Trained in his native Bologna by Ludovico Carracci, Algardi spent time working for the Duke of Mantua before heading to Rome by 1625. There he developed an intimate knowledge of antiquity through the restoration of ancient statues, and used this expertise to design new works with classical themes. One example is the Getty’s Venus in her Sea Chariot Suckling Cupid, drawn with black chalk on paper around 1645.
Look carefully—can you spot the transfer marks behind Venus?
The tiny holes were made to duplicate the composition onto another paper. Perhaps the artist used this in his process to make a bas relief or print.
Venus in Her Sea Chariot Suckling Cupid, about 1645-50, Alessandro Algardi. J. Paul Getty Museum.