Study of Two Men (recto); Study of the Head of a Bearded Man (verso)
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Baccio Bandinelli
Italian, about 1525
Pen and brown ink
13 3/8 x 8 13/16 in.

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Baccio Bandinelli drew the outlines of each nude with strong, confident lines in pen and brown ink. Using parallel strokes of hatching and cross-hatching, he then indicated both the lighting and the volume of the forms, simply by varying the length and curve of the same strokes. Rippling muscles on the chest, as well as the figures' bulging thighs all appear with a few zigzagging strokes.

Having trained as a sculptor of both marble and bronze, Bandinelli often found inspiration in the work of his more famous contemporary Michelangelo. Having once boasted that he could produce a sculpture that would rival and even surpass Michelangelo's famous statue of David--he was richly ridiculed when he did not--he took elements from that statue for his own work. The right arm of the figure on the left and the left arm of the figure on the right derive from the famous David.

Bandinelli made the drawing on the verso as a preparatory study for the head of Hercules, who looks into the distance with a dark, shadowy face.

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Verso: Study of a Bearded Man
Verso: Study of a Bearded Man