Studies of Children and of a Left Hand

three red chalk studies showing four partial figures of children and a left hand

Studies of Children and of a Left Hand, 1522–26
Red chalk
7 13/16 x 9 3/4 in. (19.8 x 24.7 cm)
The British Museum; bequeathed by William Fawkener, 1769
Recto | See Verso
© The Trustees of the British Museum

These sketches of standing children prepare putti in the Assumption painted for the Panciatichi family. Andrea renders some parts of their plump figures thoroughly and leaves others unarticulated, allowing us to follow his changing focus as he studied the models. The left hand of an adult model at center seems out of place, but it may be a study for the hand of the rightmost child, perhaps reflecting recourse to a mature model when a child had difficulty holding the pose.

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