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Past Exhibition

Studies of a Head and a Hand

Drawing of a child's head in profile and a hand

Studies of a Head and a Hand, 1510
Red chalk
The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Rogers Fund, 1996
5 9/16 x 8 1/16 in. (14.2 x 20.5 cm)
© The Metropolitan Museum of Art, courtesy Art Resource, NY

Among Andrea's earliest surviving drawings, this sheet relates to the Healing of the Relics of San Filippo Benizi fresco at SS. Annunziata. Parallel hatching models the face, and similar handling renders a hand holding a rope or other slim object, with zigzags of chalk blocking in areas of shadow. The seemingly random marks behind the child's ear indicate the spot in the painting where the mother cradles the child's head with her hand. Though the child seems to gaze at the hand in the drawing, the two details appear at opposite sides of the fresco.