- Museum number
Study of a man standing in profile to right, three-quarter length, his right arm pointing to front
Verso: Study of two monks, one standing behind the other
- Production date
Height: 281 millimetres
Width: 195 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Watermark: fleur-de-lys.
Turner, Florentine Drawings of the Sixteenth Century, London, 1986
Berenson was the first to suggest a connection with the monks standing on the left in the panel of the 'Supper at Emmaus' in the Uffizi, which is dated 1525 and which was painted for the refectory of the Certosa di Val d'Ema at Galluzzo, after Pontormo had worked on the frescoes in the cloister. The principal figure is a study for the monk on the left; the second monk is, however, different from the one in the same position in the picture. A drawing for the corresponding monk on the right of the picture is in the Uffizi (inv. no. 6656F verso; Cox Rearick 216).
Vasari drew attention to the accuracy of the portraits of the Carthusians of the Val d'Ema that were introduced into the painting as spectators: "Perciocchè in quest'opera seguitò il genio suo, ella riuscì veramente maravigliosa; avendo massimamente, fra coloro che servono a quella mensa, ritratto alcuni conversi di que'frati, i quali ho conosciuto io, in modo che non possono nè più vivi essere nè più pronti di quel che sono" (Vasari/Milanesi vi, p. 270). Pontormo, who was moving towards a style of greater naturalism after his work on the frescoes in the cloister, probably drew the figures from life and Vasari's comment that he had known some of the monks portrayed in the picture may well be true. The artist had, according to Vasari, painted one of the lay brothers, aged 120, in a fresco over a door leading to the chapel in the monastery, a work now destroyed.
The study on the recto of a semi-nude man seen to just above the knee, with his body in profile to the right, his head turned towards the spectator and his right hand pointing in that direction, was not used in any known work by Pontormo; Cox Rearick has suggested that it may be a self-portrait of the artist standing at a mirror.
Literature: BB (1938) 2250B; BB (1961) 2255A; Cox Rearick 215; P. Costamagna, 'Pontormo', Milan, 1994, no. 46; N. Turner, in exhib. cat., BM, 'Florentine drawings of the sixteenth century', 1986, no. 105; C. Van Cleave, 'Master Drawings of the Italian Renaissance', London, 2007, p. 170, illustrated p. 171
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1930, RA, 'Italian art', no. 537
1984, BM, 'Master Drawings and Watercolours in the British Museum', No. 20
1986, BM, Florentine Drawings 16thC, no. 105
2010-2011 Dec-February, BM, Room 90, Artists' Portraits
1990 April-Aug, BM, Treasures of P&D (no cat.)
1992 Oct-Dec, Norwich, Sainsbury Centre, UEA, 'Florentine Drawings' (no cat.)
2004-2005 Nov-Feb, Philadelphia, Mus of Art, Pontormo, Bronzino and the Medici
2008 June-Sep, Madrid, Museo Nacional del Prado, 'The Renaissance Portrait' [recto]
2008-2009 Oct-Jan, London, National Gallery, 'Renaissance Faces: Van Eyck to Titian' [recto]
2014, Mar-Jul, Florence, Palazzo Strozzi, 'Pontormo & Rosso' [recto]
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number