Study of a man's right hand (recto); Studies of four heads and of a nude figure seen from the rear (verso)

Object Details

Title:

Study of a man's right hand (recto); Studies of four heads and of a nude figure seen from the rear (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Agnolo Bronzino (Italian, 1503 - 1572)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1545 - 1552

Medium:

Black chalk (recto); pen and brown ink (verso)

Dimensions:

7.6 x 15.2 cm (3 x 6 in.)

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As soon as they were installed in 1534, Michelangelo's sculptures for the Medici Mausoleum in Florence captured the attention of other artists. One of those artists, Agnolo Bronzino, made this drawing as a study of the right hand of one of those sculptures. With precision he copied the crisscross pattern of the accentuated veins and even the square thumbnail.

In order to make this study, Bronzino must somehow have raised himself to the level of the hand, since it is drawn straight on and close-up and not from a low viewpoint. Perhaps he used steps to gain a better view or made the study from a cast of the hand. He combined more than one view of the three-dimensional hand, including both the upper surface of the thumb and the bulging muscle along the lower contour of the hand, which in reality cannot be seen at the same time. This gave difficulties when he tried to foreshorten the crooked forefinger, and faint traces of an early attempt still remain.

In contrast to the careful presentation on the recto, the draftsman swiftly and spontaneously sketched four heads on the verso of this sheet.

Provenance

Zaccaria Sagredo, Italian, died 1729

Jean-Jacques de Boissieu, French, 1736 - 1810

Maurice de Marignane

Hubert de Marignane

Private Collection

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (17; 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) (9; recto)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Michelangelo to Vasari: Drawing the Figure in Renaissance Florence (July 15 to October 19, 2003) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 15 to October 19, 2003
Bronzino Drawings (January 18 to April 18, 2010) (46; recto and verso)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), January 18 to April 18, 2010
Disegno: Drawing in Europe 1520-1600 (November 13, 2012 to February 3, 2013) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 13, 2012 to February 3, 2013