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Past Exhibition

Head of a Young Woman

Drawing of the face of a woman

Head of a Young Woman, ca. 1517
Black chalk
10 1/8 x 8 1/16 in. (25.7 x 20.5 cm)
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris

Traditionally identified as a drawing of Andrea's wife, Lucrezia, this study may also have prepared the face of the Virgin in his most famous altarpiece, The Madonna of the Harpies (Uffizi, Florence). He studies intently the light that glows under the tip of her nose, her top lip, and the curve of her chin. In some places, the chalk is applied lightly enough to reveal the paper's texture. Like his studio assistants, Lucrezia would have served as a ready model for Andrea's compositions.