Two Standing Male Figures (recto); A Man Reclining and Other Studies (verso)

Object Details


Two Standing Male Figures (recto); A Man Reclining and Other Studies (verso)


Attributed to Andrea Mantegna (Italian (Paduan), about 1431 - 1506)




about 1456


Pen and brown ink, traces of black chalk (recto); pen and brown ink over black chalk (verso)


20.5 x 13 cm (8 1/16 x 5 1/8 in.)

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Two male figures stand in a relaxed, classical contrapposto pose, with each one's body weight resting on one leg. The figure on the left steadies a large shield decorated with a Medusa-like head and looks to the side, apparently gazing at the book being read by his companion.

Scholars are uncertain about the identity of these figures. Andrea Mantegna may have made the studies in preparation for an altarpiece in Verona or for his partly destroyed frescoes in the Ovetari Chapel in Padua. On the verso, he added a reclining male nude and a man with an uplifted arm among the inscriptions-possibly Mantegna's own exercises in penmanship.

Italian Master Drawings (May 5 to July 19, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), May 5 to July 19, 1992
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
From Line to Light: Renaissance Drawing in Florence and Venice (July 20 to October 10, 2010) (recto and verso)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 20 to October 10, 2010