- Museum number
The Infant Christ; standing to front, with right arm extended, looking slightly down to left
Black chalk, on brown paper
- Production date
Height: 208 millimetres
Width: 168 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Lit.: J.C. Robinson, 'Descriptive Catalogue of Drawings by the Old Masters, forming the Collection of John Malcolm of Poltalloch, Esq.', London, 1876, no. 96; C. Fischer, in exhib. cat., Florence, Uffizi, ‘Disegni di Fra Bartolommeo e della sua scuola’, 1986, p. 195
Turner, Florentine Drawings of the Sixteenth Century, London, 1986
Berenson and Gabelentz suggest that this is a study for the Infant Christ in the 'Mystic Marriage of St Catherine' in the Louvre (Gabelentz, i, pl. 10). The picture, which is signed and dated 1511, was painted for the convent of S. Marco in Florence, but was then bought by the Florentine Signoria and offered as a gift in April 1512 to Jacques Hurault, Bishop of Autun, and ambassador of Louis XII at Florence (see S. Beguin, 'Le XVIe siècle florentin au Louvre', exh. cat., Louvre, 1982, no. 7).
The pose of the figure differs substantially from that in the painting, but in support of the connection is the lightly drawn drapery behind the Child, corresponding to the position of the Virgin's right leg and arm; the stance of the Child at the corner of a narrow ledge, which appears as the top of a pedestal in the painting; and the Child's downward gaze evident from the two positions in which the head is drawn - in the painting the Infant Christ bestows the ring on St Catherine of Siena who kneels beneath him, and the gesture of the Child's right arm in the drawing is compatible with a ring being held forward in the right hand. The style of the drawing also matches that of other preparatory drawings for the picture, for which see Gabelentz and Fischer, who reproduce two closely related drawings for the figure of the Child at Rotterdam.
Literature: JCR 96; BB (1903) 421; Gabelentz, ii, p. 127f., no. 292; BB (1938) 421; C. Fischer, Revue du Louvre, xxxii, 1982, p. 175.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1986, BM, Florentine Drawings 16thC, no. 41
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number