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drawing

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    Pp,3.201

  • Description

    A man's left arm and right leg, and an archer, studies for a painting Black, red and white chalk, on blue paper Verso: Various figure studies, including two of a Martyrdom of St Agatha Black chalk, pen and brown ink, with brown wash, heightened with white, on blue paper

    Gere & Pouncey 1983
    [See Gere & Pouncey 1983 for diagrams relating to the arrangement of the drawings on the sheet]
    Recto:
    A-A. An archer, seen from behind and aiming to the left. with his bow held in his extended l. hand, B-B and C-C. A man's r. leg, seen respectively in profile to right. and from the front, E-E, F-F and G-G (drawn over A-A, B-B and C-C). A man's l. arm. D (drawn over A-A). The upper part of the same arm and the rolled-up sleeve as in E-E.

    Verso:
    The diagram shows the verso inverted in relation to the recto, H-H and J. Two compositions of the Martyrdom of St Agatha, both upright in format and enclosed in framing-lines drawn freehand (lines have also been ruled in black chalk at right angles to the left.-hand framing-line of H-H, extending as far as the left. edge of J, but the rectangular space thus formed has no relation to any of the studies on the sheet). I. the extended 1. arm and part of the body and 1. leg of a man in Roman armour, wearing a sword, K, L, N, O (all drawn over H-H) and R. A man kneeling to right. on one knee, looking over his shoulder towards the spectator (in L and N, the most fully realised studies, he holds a book), M. A very slight indication of a head. P. A figure kneeling to left., supporting its head on its r. hand. Q. The same figure, half-length and on a larger scale, S-S. (very indistinct, obscured by T, U and V which are drawn over it). A standing draped figure holding its r. arm and hand with extended fingers across its body, T and U. A man drawing a sword (?), seen respectively from behind and from the front, V (partly cut away). Back view of a figure bending forward, W-W and Y-Y. Drapery studies, Y-Y apparently on a r. leg.

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1557-1579
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 510 millimetres
    • Width: 388 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    Studies of the arms are for the l arm of the man playing the hurdy-gurdy in the r foreground of the Madonna del Popolo, 1579, Uffizi. Figure of an archer is a study for the executioner in the r foreground of the 'Martyrdom of St Sebastaian', 1557, in Urbino Cathedral. Lit: J.A. Gere and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Artists working in Rome', London, 1983, no. 48; I. Seligman, 'Lines of Thought', London, 2016, no. 22, p. 59.

    Gere & Pouncey 1983
    The sheet may originally have been the two centre pages of a sketchbook for the most complete of the four studies of arms on the recto breaks off on either side of the horizontal fold as a drawing would do if interrupted by the depression caused by the binding. If so, the sketchbook would seem to have been used over a period of some twenty years. The studies of arms, as Schmarsow and Olsen both note, are for the l. arm of the man playing the hurdy-gurdy in the r. foreground of the 'Madonna del Popolo' in the Uffizi (Olsen, pl. 45), signed and dated 1579 and commissioned in 1575 (see Pp,3.200); and, as Popham was the first to point out, the figure of an archer, seen from behind and aiming to his l., over which two of these arms are drawn, is a study for the executioner in the r. foreground of the 'Martyrdom of St Sebastian' in Urbino Cathedral (Olsen, pl. 5), a work commissioned in 1557, twenty years before the 'Madonna del Popolo'. In the painting the aim is directed downwards, not horizontally as in the study, but there can be no doubt about the connection though neither Schmarsow nor Olsen refers to it.
    Of the two legs on the recto, the one in profile (B-B on the diagram) could be a study for the r. leg of Christ in the now totally ruined 'Noli Me Tangere' in the collection of Viscount Allendale, of which there are engravings by Luca Ciamberlano and Raphael Morghen (see Olsen, pl. 122c; also, 'Burlington', ci (1959), pp. 273ff). In this composition, the date of which is not recorded, Christ extends his r. leg. In the somewhat similar 'Christ appearing to the Magdalen', dated 1590, in Munich (Olsen, pl. 82a), it is the l. leg that is extended, though in the same direction. The pose of the other leg, shown slightly raised so that the sole of the foot is partly visible, is suggestive of the Christ in the 'Perdono' at Urbino (Olsen, pl. 26)B datable 1575/6.
    We cannot suggest the purpose of any of the verso studies, nor do we understand why Olsen goes out of his way to date them "about 1565". He refers to Sebastiano del Piombo's 'Martyrdom of St Agatha', now in the Pitti but recorded by Vasari in his 1568 edition (v, p. 581) "nella guardaroba del signor Guidobaldo duca d'Urbino", but there does not seem to be any particular resemblance between this painting and the two sketches by Barocci, except possibly in the pose of the saint. Sebastiano's composition is wider than it is high, and the figures are three-quarter-length. There is no record of any painting of this subject by Barocci (though Popham noted that a drawing of it, "pen and bistre, with white, on blue paper", was attributed to him in the Lawrence- Woodburn Sale of 4 June 1860, lot 57, bt with another Evans, £1-7-0).

    Literature: Schmarsow III, p. 20; Olsen, p. 168, under no. 32; Bologna Exh. Cat., no. 97.

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  • Bibliography

    • Gere & Pouncey 1983 48 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Italian Imp XVIc)

  • Exhibition history

    Exhibited 1975 Sep-Oct, Bologna, Archiginnasio, 'Barocci', no. 97 1984, BM, 'Master Drawings and Watercolours in the BM, no. 25 2006 Feb-May, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Mus., Barocci in British Collections 2009/10 Oct-Jan, Siena, Mus Santa Maria della Scala, Federico Barocci
    2016 3 Sep - 6 Nov, Poole Museum, 'Lines of thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now', no. 22
    2017 1 Jan - 25 Feb, The Brynmor Jones Library Art Gallery, University of Hull, 'Lines of thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now', no. 22
    2017 12 Mar - 5 May, Ulster Museum, Belfast, 'Lines of thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now', no. 22
    2017 May - Sep, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe, 'Lines of thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now', no. 22
    2017-2018 Oct - Jan, RISD Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, 'Lines of thought: Drawing from Michelangelo to now', no. 22

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1824

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    Pp,3.201

A man's l arm and r leg, and an archer, studies for a painting Charcoal and red chalk, heightened with white, on blue paper Verso: Various figure studies, including two of a Martyrdom of St Agatha Charcoal and black chalk, and pen and brown ink, with brown wash, heightened with white, on blue paper

Recto

A man's l arm and r leg, and an archer, studies for a painting Charcoal and red chalk, heightened with white, on blue paper Verso: Various figure studies, including two of a Martyrdom of St Agatha Charcoal and black chalk, and pen and brown ink, with brown wash, heightened with white, on blue paper

Image description

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