Past Exhibition

Lower Level South Gallery

 
  • Drawing of a child's head in profile and a hand

    Studies of a Head and a Hand, 1510
    Red chalk
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art; Rogers Fund, 1996
    5 9/16 x 8 1/16 in. (14.2 x 20.5 cm)
    © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, courtesy Art Resource, NY

    Among Andrea's earliest surviving drawings, this sheet relates to the Healing of the Relics of San Filippo Benizi fresco at SS. Annunziata. Parallel hatching models the face, and similar handling renders a hand holding a rope or other slim object, with zigzags of chalk blocking in areas of shadow. The seemingly random marks behind the child's ear indicate the spot in the painting where the mother cradles the child's head with her hand. Though the child seems to gaze at the hand in the drawing, the two details appear at opposite sides of the fresco.

  • Drawing of a man's head in profile looking up and to the right

    Head of Leonardo di Lorenzo Morelli, 1512
    Black chalk
    12 3/8 x 9 5/8 in. (31.5 x 24.5 cm)
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris
    Recto

    Andrea studied Morelli from life to prepare his portrait in the altarpiece the silk merchant commissioned of the Archangel Raphael, Tobias, and St. Leonard (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). Lavishing attention on the sitter's elegant profile, the artist manipulates chalk and reserves of paper to invoke his full lips, cheekbones, and light-colored eye as he looks up at the divine.

  • Drawing of a standing young man holding a book

    Study of a Standing Young Man Holding a Book, ca. 1515
    Black chalk
    14 5/8 x 6 3/8 in. (37.1 x 16.2 cm)
    Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
    bpk, Berlin / Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany / Photo: Volker-H. Schneider / Art Resource, NY

    A studio assistant posing with a book serves as a model for the bearded St. Ambrose in Andrea's Madonna of St. Ambrose (private collection). He wears a tunic with rolled up sleeves, and his youthful face looks up and to the left, where in the painting the Virgin and Child are seated. Strong impressions of black chalk record the crumpled folds of his sleeves above his elbows and his robust forearms, even though in the painting the bishop's robes cover these features and mask the carefully observed distribution of weight and balance in the garzone's legs.

  • 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.

  • Drawing of drapery

    Drapery Study, ca. 1517
    Red chalk
    11 x 6 in. (27.9 x 15.2 cm)
    The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
    Recto

    Complementing Andrea's nude figure studies, this drawing captures the volume and folds of a garment as it was probably draped on a garzone or lay figure (jointed wood mannequin) in the studio. It is related to figures in two works dated about five years apart: the Arrest of the Baptist fresco at the Chiostro dello Scalzo and a Transfiguration scene embroidered on an ecclesiastical vestment (Museo Diocesano, Cortona).

  • Drawing of a half-length young man with big sleeves and a separate drawing of an old man's face in profile to the right

    Study of the Head of an Old Man in Profile, ca. 1520
    Red chalk
    9 7/16 x 10 7/8 in. (23.9 x 27.7 cm)
    Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett
    Recto
    bpk, Berlin / Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen, Berlin, Germany / Photo: Volker-H. Schneider / Art Resource, NY

    Accompanying Andrea’s many drawings from live models are his studies after antique sculpture like that after the Laocoön and this sheet after a bust of Homer, which prepares a figure in The Tribute to Caesar. Infusing the head with the vivacity of a living being, Andrea retains a glimmer of reflected light under the eye that hints at the physical quality of his stone source. The drawing of the draped young man also prepares a figure in the Tribute, though the youthful face is probably that of a garzone and becomes a more mature character in the painting.

  • Drawing of a standing male nude figure looking to the left and a separate drawing of his head

    Study of a Nude Man Seen from Behind, Leaning on a Surface, and a Separate Study of His Head, ca. 1520
    Red chalk, with some black chalk
    11 x 6 15/16 in. (27.9 x 17.7 cm)
    The British Museum; bequeathed by William Fawkener, 1769
    Recto
    © The Trustees of the British Museum

    This sheet, probably studied from life after one of Andrea's garzoni, prepares one of almost two dozen figures in his monumental fresco The Tribute to Caesar. Strokes articulating his upper back are considerably more nuanced than the broader hatchings below. That he omits the left forearm and leaves the feet as stumps suggests that the drawing follows a full compositional design, for in the fresco these areas are not visible. The sketch at left explores putting a cap on the head, which the artist ultimately rejected.

  • Drawing of a kneeling unclothed male figure looking to the right

    Study of a Kneeling Figure with a Sketch of a Face, 1522–26
    Red and black chalk
    11 7/8 x 7 13/16 in. (30.1 x 19.8 cm)
    The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
    Recto

    Though it prepares a heavily draped, bare-headed apostle in the Assumption Andrea painted for the Panciatichi family (Palazzo Pitti, Florence), this drawing features a model (probably a studio assistant, or garzone) mostly nude and wearing a cap. Andrea articulates his muscular back with short, subtle marks while ignoring his left hand and foot and summarily blocking in the face. The connection to the face sketched in black chalk at right is unclear, although it, like the kneeling figure in the painting, turns to look at the viewer.

  • Drawing of a skull and bone

    A Skull and Thigh Bone, 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
    Verso | See Recto
    © The Trustees of the British Museum

    In sharp contrast to the playful youth on the opposite side of this sheet, this drawing — whose powerful schematic quality mirrors the finality of its subject — prepares a decoration for a tomb. Whether the skull and bone or the children were drawn first is unknown. In Andrea’s workshop, as in any other, paper was valuable, and artists frequently used both sides.

  • Drawing of children in various poses

    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
    Recto
    © 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.

  • 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.

  • Drawing of the face of a young woman looking down

    Study of the Head of a Young Woman, ca. 1523
    Red chalk
    8 9/16 x 6 11/16 in. (21.7 x 17 cm)
    Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, Florence
    Courtesy the Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

    Drawn from life when Andrea and his family fled Florence's plague for a monastery in the Mugello, this study for the Luco Pietà (an altarpiece now at the Palazzo Pitti, Florence, that he produced for the nuns who hosted him) prepares the head of Mary Magdalene. Her downcast eyes communicate her repentance as a reformed prostitute and her lament over the dead Christ, whose body she looks upon in the painting. Delicate strokes of chalk render the falling hair that had dried the feet of Christ after she washed them with her tears.

  • Sketch of the hair of a child

    Study of the Head of a Child Looking to the Right, ca. 1525
    Black chalk
    7 3/4 x 7 3/8 in. (19.7 x 18.7 cm)
    Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, Florence
    Courtesy the Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

    This unusual study focuses on a child's hair and almost completely neglects the face, save for circles and dashes for eyes, nose, and mouth. Perhaps more finished head studies, like the Head of an Infant in Profile to the Right, were accompanied by sheets like this, which offer alternative solutions for specific details. This drawing has not been securely related to a known painting. It might be an exercise in studying hair, without preparing a specific project, but it is blackened (strangely, on both sides), which suggests it was transferred to another surface.

  • Drawing of the face of a young woman

    Study of the Head of a Woman, ca. 1525
    Black chalk
    5 3/16 x 4 5/16 in. (13.2 x 10.9 cm)
    Musée du Louvre, Paris, Département des Arts Graphiques
    © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY. Photo: Stephane Marechalle

    The visual impact of this diminutive drawing derives from the clarity of its forms and range of handling that pits heavily darkened features like the model's eyes, mouth, and left side of her face against the airy articulation of the back of her head, neck, and wisps of hair. It may be connected to several figures in secular and sacred paintings by Andrea.

  • 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
    Recto

    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.

  • Drawing of the head of an old man looking down

    Study for the Head of St. Joseph, ca. 1526–27
    Red and black chalk
    14 11/16 x 8 11/16 in. (37.3 x 22 cm)
    Private Collection

    Andrea uses squiggles of black chalk to render the weathered face of his model for the sleeping St. Joseph in the Bracci Holy Family (Palazzo Pitti, Florence). The study almost certainly follows a design for the overall composition, for Andrea leaves unarticulated the lower section of the face, which in the painting is blocked from view by his arm. The red chalk may have been added by a later hand; only this sheet and the Head of a Man Looking Up feature the atypical combination of chalks in a single figure.

  • Drawing of the head of a bearded old man looking to the right

    Study of a Bearded Man in Profile, ca. 1526–27
    Black chalk, possibly with gray wash
    8 9/16 x 7 1/8 in. (21.8 x 18.1 cm)
    Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, Florence
    Courtesy the Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

    In this study for a disciple in Andrea's Last Supper in the refectory of the church of San Salvi, the artist indulges in his model's expressive physiognomy. Wisps of hair seem to fly from his scalp and chin, while judicious reserves (areas of untouched paper) emphasize his sunken cheeks and tightened muscles at the forehead and temple. In a second sketch of the eye area, Andrea experiments with a curling eyebrow and long, straight lashes, accentuating the figure's concentrated gaze at the drama unfolding at Christ's table.

  • Drawing of the head of a bearded man looking up and to the left

    Head of a Man Looking Up, ca. 1527
    Black chalk, with later red chalk additions
    9 3/4 x 6 15/16 in. (24.7 x 17.7 cm)
    The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; purchased, 1944
    © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

    The chalk is applied confidently in this study for St. Joseph in Andrea's Holy Family with St. John the Baptist, a composition known in several copies (the autograph version is most likely in the Hermitage, St. Petersburg). The model's hair frames his upturned face like a mane, and varied handling conveys the difference between the texture of the hair on his head and in his beard.

  • Drawing of two hands holding objects

    Studies of Hands, ca. 1527
    Red chalk
    4 13/16 x 6 7/16 in. (12.2 x 16.3 cm)
    The Metropolitan Museum of Art; bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971
    © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, courtesy Art Resource, NY

    This sheet exemplifies Andrea's powers of observation as he studies from life the hands of a model holding a book and an unidentified attribute. He meticulously captures the pull of skin over bone and the effects of light and shadow on the intricate forms of the human hand. The drawing has not been securely related to a known painting.

  • Drawing of the head of a child looking down and to the right

    Head of an Infant in Profile to the Right, ca. 1527
    Red chalk
    9 3/4 x 7 in. (24.7 x 17.8 cm)
    Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, Florence
    Recto
    Courtesy the Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

    The subtlety of the reflected light at the chin and throat of the infant make this one of Andrea's most sensitive drawings. It probably prepared the head of the infant John the Baptist in The Holy Family with St. John (Hermitage, St. Petersburg). Andrea reused the design in two other paintings: the Borgherini Holy Family at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Charity at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. This economical use of drawings was typical and underlines the importance of such highly achieved drawings in the workshop.

  • Drawing of unclothed male figures seated and standing behind a table

    Studies of Figures Seated and Standing Behind a Table, ca. 1526–27
    Red chalk
    10 1/16 x 14 5/16 in. (25.6 x 36.3 cm)
    Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, Florence
    Recto
    Courtesy the Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

    A cast of garzoni (or perhaps a single assistant posing several times) modeled for this study preparing disciples in Andrea's Last Supper in the refectory in the church of San Salvi, Florence. In the painting, one figure becomes elderly, one bald, one bearded, and all are swathed in drapery. Andrea does not include their lower bodies in the painting though here he sketched their legs. Below, a second study of the middle figure attests to Andrea's meticulous attention to the expressivity of the human body: besides adding hair, he levels the slopes of the shoulders and subtly straightens the torso.

  • Drawing of the right arm of a seated man

    Study of the Arm of a Figure Seated in Profile to the Right, ca. 1526–27
    Red chalk
    7 9/16 x 8 1/4 in. (19.2 x 20.9 cm)
    Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, Florence
    Courtesy the Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

    An exemplary study from life, this sheet vividly captures the right arm of a model (probably a garzone) for a disciple in Andrea's Last Supper in the refectory in the church of San Salvi. He grips the bench he sits on and leans forward over the table at which Christ and his disciples dine. Andrea's sensitive rendering of the arm and hand using a combination of chalk effects contrasts with the sketchy (though no less evocative) midsection rendered in swift strokes, including the detail of the swelling at the groin.

  • Drawings of the leg and abdomen of a male figure

    Studies after the Laocoön, ca. 1528
    Red chalk
    11 1/8 x 8 9/16 in. (28.3 x 21.7 cm)
    Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, Florence
    Courtesy the Ministero dei beni e delle attività culturali e del turismo

    Inspired by the antique sculpture discovered in 1506 and widely known through copies and emulations, Andrea produced this sheet to prepare the figure of Isaac for the Sacrifice of Isaac, which survives in three versions today. These studies of a leg, big toe, and genitals of one of the Laocoön figures are rendered in fine, regular strokes. Here, chalk embraces the contours of the leg and brushes lightly against the paper to evoke the muscles of the torso, giving a sensuous quality to the flesh despite its source in marble.

  • Drawing of a donkey grazing and turned to the left

    Study of a Donkey in Profile to the Left, Grazing, ca. 1528
    Red chalk
    6 5/8 x 7 5/8 in. (16.9 x 19.3 cm)
    The British Museum; bequeathed by William Fawkener, 1769
    © The Trustees of the British Museum

    Andrea analyzed the mechanics of the reins and harness as much as he did the anatomy of the grazing donkey in this drawing, which he used for the later two of three known versions of the Sacrifice of Isaac. A testament to Andrea's intense preparation for his paintings, it is the second design he produced for an animal that appears in the scene's background, partially blocked from view.