We have at our disposal only two drawings, the author of which, undoubtedly, is Jan van Eyck. The first of them – an exquisite sketch for the male portrait, made in silver pencil in 1431.
The depicted man is usually called the Italian Cardinal Niccolo Albergati. In the picture there are Jan Van Eyk’s handwritten inscriptions fixing the color of this or that fragment in the future picture: “crimson-red”, “lips very pale”, etc. The second picture of van Eyck captures the image of St. Barbara, he was signed by the artist and dated 1437 .
Some researchers consider this drawing a preparatory sketch for the painting, but this is doubtful – sketches are rarely so carefully worked out. In other words, we have another excellent work by Jan van Eyck and another mystery related to his name. The blue sky in this picture was later written out – it is quite obvious that it was not by van Eyck’s hand.