Study of a Man with Various Sketches (recto); Study of a Man's Draped Leg (verso)
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Polidoro da Caravaggio
Italian, about 1535
Red chalk (recto); black chalk (verso), recently reassembled after having been cut into an irregular shape
8 1/8 x 7 1/4 in.

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Polidoro da Caravaggio made this careful study of a naked man with his left leg extended and his arms raised above his drooping head. Another sketch of his pointed left foot and calf appears along the top of the sheet, while his disembodied left arm floats along the right side of the sheet.

Polidoro applied the red chalk energetically, describing the taut muscles of the man's chest, arms, and thighs with strong diagonal shading. His head, in contrast, is loosely drawn, as the artist preferred to concentrate on the position and form of the body instead. The sharply pointed toes on the single foot provide a sharp contrast to the limp angle of his hand.

Scholars believe Polidoro produced this sketch in connection with a martyrdom scene.

When the Getty Museum purchased this sheet, its parts were arranged differently, with the arm at the right margin incorrectly attached along the lower edge. Museum conservators restored the fragment to its proper position.

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Verso: Study of Draped Leg
Verso: Study of Draped Leg