A Youth Seated at a Table, possibly a portrait of Jacques de Gheyn III (recto); Head of a Child with Curly Hair (verso) Artist: Jacques de Gheyn II (Dutch, 1565–1629)

ca. 1604

Prints and Drawings

Jacques de Gheyn II, a prolific draftsman, worked in a naturalistic style that developed in both Italy and northern Europe as the artists who came of age toward the end of the sixteenth century rejected the artificiality of Mannerism. Though it has been suggested that this drawing represents de Gheyn himself, or his son, neither identification can be sustained, and the sitter is probably a young artist in de Gheyn’s studio. The iconography of the drawing is often read as having moralizing overtones, the candle referring to the brevity of life, the writing implements connoting the vanity of earthly endeavors. These meanings are in keeping with de Gheyn’s industrious outlook and may well have been implicit in the image, although given de Gheyn’s many other drawings that are straightforward studies of individual figures, heads, or limbs, it is perhaps unnecessary to insist too strongly on symbolic content.


Pen and brown ink


5 5/16 × 4 1/16 in. (13.5 × 10.3 cm)

Credit Line

Egmont Collection, Yale Library Transfer

Accession Number



17th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



John Percival, 1st Earl of Egmont; John T. Graves; Robert Hoe; Yale Univ. Library (anonymous donor, 1957)
  • Lisa Hodermarsky, Suzanne Boorsch, and John J. Marciari, Master Drawings from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 26, 29, 118–19, no. 32, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type



With pen and brown ink at UR: "D. Gheyn [DG in monogram]; annotated with pen and brown ink at LR: "Jac de Gheyn"

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