- Museum number
Head of a boy, looking slightly to left
Metalpoint (probably silverpoint), heightened with white (partly oxidised), on light brown prepared paper, with outlines partly indented
- Production date
Height: 231 millimetres
Width: 199 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- According to Robinson, this drawing was ascribed to Botticelli by its former owner Jonathan Richardson. The attribution to Credi is apparently due to Robinson, and has never subsequently been doubted. It is a particularly fine example of Credi's use of metalpoint, a technique that he most frequently used, as here, to make informal studies from life, presumably both as studio exercises in drawing and as examples which could serve as models for his painted works. The suggestion made by Robinson and later Berenson that the youth depicted here is the same as that shown in studies in the same medium at Christ Church (Berenson 705; Byam Shaw, no. 31, pl. 21) and in the Louvre (Berenson 711) is rejected by Popham, Pouncey and Byam Shaw. Jacob Beans's suggestion that the model is the same as an ex-Richardson Senior silverpoint drawing in Bayonne (130; Bean, 1960, no. 28) seems more likely.
Lit.: J.C. Robinson, 'Descriptive Catalogue of Drawings by the Old Masters, forming the Collection of John Malcolm of Poltalloch, Esq.', London, 1876, no. 24; B. Berenson, 'The Drawings of the Florentine Painters', Chicago, 1938, II, no. 696, III, fig. 151; A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 46 (with previous literature), II, pl. XLVII; J. Bean, 'Bayonne, Musée Bonnat: les dessins italiens de la collection Bonnat', Paris, 1960, under no. 28; L. Grassi, 'I disegni italiani del Trecento e Quattrocento: scuole fiorentina, senese, marchigiana, umbra', Venice, n.d [1960?], no. 47; M. Levey, 'Botticelli and nineteenth-century England', "Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institute", 1960, XXIII (3-4), p. 293, fig. 39a; G. Dalli Regoli, 'Lorenzo di Credi', Cremona, 1966, no. 44, fig. 89; J. Byam Shaw, 'Drawings by Old Masters at Christ Church Oxford', Oxford, 1976, I, under no. 31, p. 40; H. Chapman, in exhib. cat., BM, 'Old Master Drawings from the Malcolm Collection', 1996, no. 14
Popham & Pouncey 1950
According to Robinson, this drawing was ascribed by Richardson to Botticelli. The attribution to Credi, which is convincing and is generally accepted, appears to be due to Robinson. It is usually stated that the same model is represented in drawings at Christ Church and in the Louvre (BB 705 and 711 respectively), but the identity seems to us questionable.
Literature: JCR 24; BB 696, fig. 151; Grosvenor Gallery Winter Exhibition, 1877/8, no. 783, lent Malcolm; Catalogue descriptif des dessins... exposés à l'École des Beaux-Arts, 1879, no. 50, lent Malcolm; B.M. Guide, 1895, no. 29.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1879 May-Jun, Paris, École des Beaux-Arts, 'Des Dessins de Maîtres Anciens', no. 50
1974 Jul-Dec, BM, Portrait Drawings, no.34
1996 BM, Malcolm Collection', no. 14
2003 Oct-Dec, Tokyo, Metropolitan Art Museum, Treasures of BM
2004 Jan-Mar, Kobe, City Museum, Treasures of BM
2004 Apr-Jun, Fukuoka, City Museum, Treasures of BM
2004 Jun-Aug, Niigata, Prefectural Mus of Fine Arts, Treasures of BM
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