Unknown Italian artist
Écorché or Artist’s Model for St. Bartholomew or St. Jerome
First half of sixteenth century
11 7/8 in. (30.3 cm)
Intended as models for both fellow artists and physicians, écorchés (flayed figures) challenged Renaissance sculptors to articulate the body’s exposed muscles and delineate their interaction. This figure, who rests his foot upon a skull, may be the apostle Bartholomew who was martyred by flaying. His large, closed eyes—unusual for an écorché—and expression of longing transform an anatomical model into a compelling work of art.