Composition Study of the Madonna and Child with Saints

Drawing of a composition of the Madonna and child surrounded by kneeling and standing saints

Composition Study of the Madonna and Child with Saints, ca. 1528
Red chalk
6 1/8 x 5 5/16 in. (15.6 x 13.5 cm)
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
bpk, Berlin / Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany / Photo: Volker-H. Schneider / Art Resource, NY

With quick strokes and remarkable economy of line, Andrea worked out the complex configuration of ten figures on this small sheet, a study for the Sarzana altarpiece, formerly in Berlin (destroyed during World War II). Scribbles describe details like St. Onophrius's loincloth of leaves (at far left) while a series of ovals marks his consideration of the head of the Christ child (at center). Swift lines falling from the Virgin's head emphasize her as the apex of a pyramidal figural composition, a Renaissance convention.

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