Studies of a Child

Drawing of the upper body and face of a child

Studies of a Child, 1522–26
Red and black chalk
7 5/8 x 10 7/16 in. (19.3 x 26.5 cm)
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris

This sheet (along with Studies of Children) studies putti for the Assumption painted for the Panciatichi family. Beginning with the drawing on Studies of Children, Andrea explores a combination of strength and levity for the putto intended to support the ascending Virgin. Continuing to study the child, he arrives at the solution in this sheet — raising the arm high, rotating the hips to the right, and emphasizing his round bottom — then adds studies of another child turning away. Combining chalks showcases their possibilities: black chalk presents a stronger contrast with paper and thus more intense light and dark; red, a wider range of tonal effects.

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