- Museum number
Study for a dead Christ
Metalpoint (probably silverpoint), heightened with white (partly discoloured), on cream prepared paper
- Production date
- 1515 (c.)
Height: 188 millimetres
Width: 159 millimetres
- Curator's comments
Attributed to Perugino in the 1860 Woodburn sale, and later given to his School. The attribution to Spagna was first suggested by Fischel and has never subsequently been doubted. It cannot be related to any surviving painting, but is stylistically comparable with Spagna's study in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (Fischel, no. 126, fig. 284; K.T Parker, 'Catalogue of the Collection of Drawings in the Ashmolean Museum', II, Oxford 1956, no. 45, pl. XVII) for the altarpiece of 1514-16 in the Pinacoteca of Spoleto, and with the drawing in the Louvre for the seated bishop in the fresco of 1520 in the church of Santa Maria delle Lacrime near Trevi (Fischel, no. 128, fig. 288). Ferino Pagden suggests that a figure of Moses in the Uffizi, Florence copied from Perugino's Cambio frescoes in Perugia is stylistically comparable with the BM, and might equally be by Spagna.
Lit.: O. Fischel. 'Die Zeichnungen der Umbrer', Berlin, 1917, no. 134, p. 215, fig. 294; A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 250, II, pl. CXIII (with previous literature); S. Ferino Pagden, in exhib. cat., Florence, Uffizi, 'Disegni Umbri del Rinascimento da Perugino a Raffaello', 1982, under no. 28
Popham & Pouncey 1950
Attributed in the Woodburn Sale Catalogue to Perugino, in the B.M. 'Guide' called "School of Perugino". First attributed to Lo Spagna by Fischel (loc. cit.). The attribution seems to us certainly right on comparison with the drawing in the Ashmolean for the 'Virgin and Saints' of 1514-16 at Spoleto (Fischel, 'Umbrer', no. 126, fig. 284) or the study in the Louvre for the seated bishop in the fresco of 1520 in the church of S. Maria delle Lacrime near Trevi (Fischel, 'Umbrer', no. 128, fig. 288). The attitude of the figure is based on that of Perugino's 'Man of Sorrows' in the Pinacoteca at Perugia (K. der K. 38), but it is clearly re-studied from the model and the lighting is different.
Literature: B.M. Guide, 1895, no. 85; Fischel, Umbrer, p. 215, no. 134, fig. 294.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2015 May-Jul, Washington, National Gallery of Art, 'Drawing in Silver and Gold'
2015 10 Sep-6 Dec, London, British Museum, 'Drawing in Silver and Gold'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number