Baldassare Peruzzi, A Woman and Two Men, an ink drawing

Italy, around AD 1511

This intriguing pen and ink drawing by the Sienese born artist Peruzzi (1481-1536), shows a fashionably dressed young woman flanked by two young men. Over the figures are drawn a circle and pentagon, inscribed by Peruzzi with measurements, perhaps related to some architectural project. At the lower left of the sheet are some notes in the artist's own handwriting. At lower right is an unrelated drawing for what may be part of a staircase, also with mathematical figures.

The informal, intimate nature of Peruzzi's portrayal of three figures is atypical, and it is revealing that this drawing was once believed to be by the Venetian painter Giorgione (around 1476-1510) whose paintings are similarly atmospheric and mysterious.

Peruzzi was born in Siena but worked in Rome as a painter and architect; it is possible that this dates from the period when he was working alongside the Venetian painter, Sebastiano del Piombo (1485-1547) in around 1511.

According to his Life, written by the artist-biographer, Giorgio Vasari, Peruzzi was somewhat timid and felt uncomfortable around his noble patrons. At his death, however, Peruzzi was eternally honoured by being buried next to Raphael in the Pantheon, Rome.

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More information


P. Pouncey and J. A. Gere, Italian drawings in the Depa-3 (London, The British Museum Press, 1962)

J. Rowlands, Master drawings and watercolou (London, The British Museum Press, 1984)


Height: 234.000 mm
Width: 216.000 mm

Museum number

PD 1874-8-8-32



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