Studies of Children, 1522–26
Red and black chalk
7 7/8 x 9 13/16 in. (20 x 25 cm)
The British Museum; bequeathed by George Salting, 1910
© The Trustees of the British Museum
This sheet (along with Studies of a Child ) studies putti for the Assumption painted for the Panciatichi family. Beginning with the drawing on this sheet, 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 Studies of a Child — 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.