black chalk drawing of youth sitting with arm atop a table

Pontormo (1494–1557)
Seated Youth
c. 1520
Black chalk
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Princes Gate Bequest, 1978

This large study depicts a young boy dressed in the humble apron and breeches of a workshop assistant or garzone. He poses in a gesture of fear, one hand curled into a fist in front of his mouth, his hollow eye sockets and direct gaze amplifying the psychological charge. The stains on the paper suggest that it was kept in the artist's studio.

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