Studies for the Christ Child with a Lamb (recto); Head of an Old Man, and Studies of Machinery (verso)

Object Details

Title:

Studies for the Christ Child with a Lamb (recto); Head of an Old Man, and Studies of Machinery (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452 - 1519)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

about 1503 - 1506

Medium:

Black chalk, pen and brown ink

Dimensions:

21 x 14.1 cm (8 1/4 x 5 9/16 in.)

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Using pen and ink and chalk, Leonardo da Vinci drew a child and a lamb several times, trying out different poses for the figures. He may have begun with the smaller and more freely sketched study in the upper right. He then drew the figures again below, changing the angle of the child and the sheep's face. Lastly, he drew the more elaborate study at the bottom left, in which the legs are posed with greater complexity and the child leans back on the lamb.

Leonardo probably made the drawing in preparation for a painting of the Virgin and Child with Saint John, now lost but known through copies. He inscribed some notes unrelated to the drawing at the top of the sheet in his characteristic backwards writing, legible only with the help of a mirror.

Provenance

Abbot Luigi Celotti, Italian, 1765 - 1848, (?).

Sir Thomas Lawrence, British, 1769 - 1830, after his death, his whole collection was left to various representatives of the nation, but nobody accepted. The collection reverted in 1834 to Lawrence's executor, Archibald Keightley, who ceded the drawings the same year to the dealer Samuel Woodburn.

1834

Samuel Woodburn, English, 1786 - 1853, shown in the Fifth Exhbition of the Lawrence Gallery (February 1836) and probably selected by King William II of Holland.

King William II of the Netherlands, Netherlandish, 1792-1849 [sold, Het Paleis, The Hague, August 12-20, 1850, part of lot 136, to his grand-son in law, the Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach]

1850

Grand Duke Charles Alexander of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Thuringia, German, 1818 - 1901 (Granducal Collection, Weimar) [according to Trutty-Coohill and Pedretti 1993, sold in 1929]

S. Schwartz, New York

John R. Gaines, American, 1928 - 2005 [sold, Sotheby's, New York, November 17, 1986, lot 3, bought by the J. Paul Getty Museum.]

Exhibitions
Italian Master Drawings (May 5 to July 19, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), May 5 to July 19, 1992
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (66; recto)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994) (21; recto)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998
Mise-en-Page: The Art of Composing on Paper (December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 17, 2002 to March 9, 2003
Leonardo da Vinci, Master Draftsman (January 21 to July 14, 2003) (94; catalogue by C. Bambach et. al. Louvre Catalogue: Léonard de Vinci, Dessins et manuscrits, no. 81)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), January 21 to March 30, 2003
  • Musée du Louvre, (Paris), May 5 to July 14, 2003
A North Italian Itinerary: Renaissance Drawings from Leonardo to Titian (December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006) (recto and verso)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006
Leonardo da Vinci and the Art of Sculpture: Inspiration and Invention (October 3, 2009 to June 20, 2010) (14; recto and verso)
  • High Museum of Art, (Atlanta), October 3, 2009 to February 21, 2010
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 23 to June 20, 2010
Sainte Anne de Leonard de Vinci (March 25 to June 26, 2012) (16; recto)
  • Musée du Louvre, (Paris), March 25 to June 26, 2012
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1986." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 15 (1987), pp. 202-03, no. 84.