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Past Exhibition

The Madonna and Child with Four Saints

Drawing of the Madonna and child enthroned with four saints

The Madonna and Child with Four Saints, ca. 1509
Brown wash and white heightening over traces of black chalk, on gray-prepared paper
11 1/2 x 9 3/4 in. (29.2 x 24.8 cm)
Musée du Louvre, Paris, Département des Arts Graphiques

Probably the earliest sheet in the exhibition, this is the only drawing on display executed in a medium other than chalk. While no related painting is known, its refinement and minor adjustments — such as the change to the tilt of St. Gregory's head (left of the Virgin) — suggest it is close to a final composition. Parts of the design seem to have been transferred to another surface: pricking (a method in which tiny holes are made to allow carbon dust through the paper) appears along the contours of several figures and the architecture.