- Museum number
Sheet of studies including at centre a nude man holding a long twisted horn, a group of vessels, figures and architecture
Pen and brown ink
Verso: Two studies for the drapery of a standing figure
Black chalk and pen and brown ink
Pouncey & Gere 1962
A. Reclining nude man. B. Composition of four figures, three standing and one kneeling, enclosed in a rectangle, C. Figure of a man, nude but for slight drapery, with his r. foot supported on a globe, standing on a three-stepped base. D. Perspective view down a vaulted passage, with figures and buildings visible at the end. E. A sack with the mouth tied. F. Figure of a monkey with a halo, wearing a Franciscan habit, standing on a plinth formed like the lower part of a column. Fitted exactly into the diameter is the foreshortened figure of a recumbent man. The square base is supported by tortoises standing on another, larger, square slab. In its l. hand the monkey holds a basket and in its extended r. hand what may perhaps be a bunch of grapes. Two smaller monkeys, also with haloes, look up from the edge of the plinth. At least one other figure, larger and also haloed, is seated to the left. Inscribed above: "madona scimia". G. Nude man, wearing a cloak over his shoulders, holding a long twisting horn. H. (drawn before C and G) Group of four figures: (a) squatting, supported by his r. arm and raising his l. ; (b) kneeling and extending both arms towards a; (c) a woman seated on a stool of which one clumsy leg is visible, with her back to b; (d) (partially cut away) facing c and embracing her with his r. arm. I. Street-scene with two figures, J. Perspective stage-set with a figure standing in front, K. Two colonnades at right angles, L. Row of nine urns, vases, etc.
- Production date
Height: 329 millimetres
Width: 243 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Watermark: encircled anchor surmounted by a six pointed star.
Lit: P. Pouncey and J.A. Gere, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Raphael and his circle', London, 1962, I, no. 235, II, 201; L. Ravelli, 'Polidoro Caldara da Caravaggio', Bergamo, 1978, no. 927.
Pouncey & Gere 1962
The old attribution to Polidoro is understandable; though the handling is not his, the drawing must be by someone very close to him. The last figure of the date, which seems to have been written by the artist himself, is uncertain, but if it is not a "7" it is a "5". Polidoro himself is supposed to have died in 1543. Three other drawings probably by this hand are known to us: 1946,0713.375; a group of four nude men, one with a banner, one with a spear, and two with matchlocks, in the collection of Mr. G. M. Gathorne-Hardy ('Descriptive Catalogue of Drawings by the Old Masters in the possession of the Hon. A. E. Gathorne-Hardy, 77 Cadogan Square', London, 1902, no. 4, as Michelangelo. Photo. BM) ; a double-sided sheet of figure-studies, less fantastic than 1874,0808.20 but, like it, with an old attribution to Polidoro, in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Hugh Squire (Photo. BM).
The figure on the verso clasps his drapery with his l. hand and extends a bare r. arm in a gesture which might be that of baptizing.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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