Study of Figures Behind a Balustrade (recto); Study of Figures Behind a Balustrade (verso)

Object Details

Title:

Study of Figures Behind a Balustrade (recto); Study of Figures Behind a Balustrade (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Andrea del Sarto (Italian, 1486 - 1530)

Culture:

Italian

Place(s):

Italy (Place created)

Date:

about 1522

Medium:

Red chalk (recto); Red chalk (verso)

Dimensions:

17.5 x 20 cm (6 7/8 x 7 7/8 in.)

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Andrea del Sarto worked out the problem of placing full-length figures behind a balustrade, or railing on both sides of this sheet. Each side contains two separate compartments with figures in varied poses.

With quick, sure strokes of his red chalk, del Sarto experimented with a variety of complex arrangements for each figure's body, sometimes including drapery and always crossing limbs and turning heads. He overlaid numerous ideas for each figure, quickly trying one thought, then modifying it for the next. Beyond giving the figures balance, he aimed to make them look natural and relaxed. With the railing both standing in front of and bisecting the figures, the artist also had to work out how to maintain unity between the upper and lower halves of each figure. The many artistic solutions evident in this study give a glimpse of his fertile and creative mind.

Scholars are uncertain about the purpose of these studies, but they may have been initial concepts for the Evangelists in the border of the Paramento Passerini, an embroidered altar frontal now in the Museum Diocesano, Cortona.

Provenance

Private Collection, Lugano

Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1992.

Exhibitions
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993) (3; 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) (1; recto)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994
Red Chalk Drawings (March 16 to May 30, 1999) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 16 to May 30, 1999
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
From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice (July 20 to October 10, 2010) (recto)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 2010
Bibliography

"Acquisitions/1992." The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 21 (1993), p. 132, no. 50.