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Nude Studies
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Bartolomeo Passarotti
Italian, about 1570 - 1580
Pen and ink
11 5/8 x 9 1/4 in.
88.GA.109

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Bartolomeo Passarotti studied the male nude on this sheet, ingeniously showing the same figure from four sides. Varying the quality of line to achieve his desired effect, he used undulating outlines and distinctive, sharply defined cross-hatching that resembles an engraver's technique. Thicker lines along the outlines and in the body's interior add emphasis in selective areas

As with many Mannerists, Passarotti distorted musculature in order to explore his anatomical interest in powerful, acrobatic figures. He twisted the bodies and omitted the right forearm, adjusting the poses to fit all the views on one sheet and to create a pleasing composition. Characteristically, he sketched in some of the feet without much detail and gave only the most summary treatment to the heads. He may have made this drawing simply for study purposes or as part of a book of anatomical studies.