Studies of a Statuette of Atlas (recto); Studies of a Statuette of Atlas and a Figure Praying (verso)

Object Details

Title:

Studies of a Statuette of Atlas (recto); Studies of a Statuette of Atlas and a Figure Praying (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Jacopo Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti) (Italian, 1518/1519 - 1594)

Culture:

Italian

Date:

1549

Medium:

Black chalk with white chalk highlights

Dimensions:

25.4 x 39.2 cm (10 x 15 7/16 in.)

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Jacopo Tintoretto covered both the recto and verso of this sheet with four animated copies of the same bronze statuette of Atlas. Each sketch shows Atlas from the same tilted angle, in a contrapposto stance with his right foot slightly raised and his head twisted to look under his bent left arm. Each figure sits at a sharp diagonal angle, as though it had been twisted and compressed within the confines of the page and was trying to break free. Atlas's contorted position increases the overall sense of energy and muscular strength. Although each figure's position remains nearly the same, Tintoretto subtly varied the surface shading throughout. Delicate lines of parallel hatching emphasize the rippling, bumpy muscles that cover Atlas's arms, legs, and chest.

Tintoretto and his workshop made at least fifteen drawings based on the statuette. The stock figure appears in a number of his paintings.

Exhibitions
North Italian Drawings of the 15th through the 17th Century (July 27 to October 10, 1993)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), July 27 to October 10, 1993
The Body Beautiful: Artists Draw the Nude (1440 - 1880) (December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 14, 1999 to February 27, 2000
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
A North Italian Itinerary: Renaissance Drawings from Leonardo to Titian (December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 6, 2005 to February 26, 2006
Drawing the Classical Figure (December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 23, 2008 to March 8, 2009