Study of a kneeling Girl
  • Franz Skarbina
  • Berlin 1849 - 1910
  • Study of a kneeling Girl
  • Pen and grey ink, grey wash, over pencil, on white board
  • artist‘s estate stamp on the lower right (Lugt 2289)
  • 325 × 243 mm

This back study of a kneeling, long-haired girl shows the full graphic talent of this long-unrecognized artist. In an almost vibrating combination of fine preliminary studies in pencil, soft pen stroke, and even lighter wash, Skarbina created on this sheet an exceptional aura and spatiality, which encompasses the young woman. Highly complex contrasts of light and shadow in the many folds of her long, simple dress or in the curly hair falling on her shoulders posed special challenges for the artist. Skarbina has solved this problem convincingly, and has understood how to effectuate the complicated illumination of her figure.

Particularly charming is the separate pencil study of the left foot, shown in the same position as in the full-length depiction, but in this instance without the shoe. This repetition is reminiscent of the fact that Skarbina, among other teaching activities in Berlin, also oversaw the artistic training of the illustrators at his friend Franz von Lipperheide’s successful magazine Modewelt, in order to impart a fundamental knowledge of anatomical drawing to this rather extroverted world of fashion drawing.