Study for the Head of Charon for "Aeneas and the Cumaean Sybil Showing the Golden Bough to Charon"
Pietro Testa, Italian, 1612 - 1650
Testa was one of the most intriguing artists of seventeenth-century Italy. A melancholy and isolated individual, his primary artistic production took the form of prints and drawings, often expressing complicated allegorical and theoretical ideas. This arresting study is for a figure in a painting depicting an incident from Virgil's Aeneid and was done in the last years of the artist's life, which ended in 1650 with his suicide by drowning in the Tiber.