- Museum number
A nude man, seen from behind; whole-length, standing with weight on right leg and head tilted to right
- Production date
- 1490-1500 (circa)
Height: 268 millimetres
Width: 136 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This exaggerated contrapposto is typical of Signorelli's work, especially that of the 1490s. The figure can be related to many projects of this period, but it appears to correspond most closely to figures in two of the frescoes in the cloister of Monte Oliveto: a peasant in the background of the scene of 'Saint Benedict scolds the brother of Valeriano', and a soldier in the foreground of 'Saint Benedict receiving Totila'. Through reuse this motif was perhaps developed into the figure wearing the blue skull cap in the foreground of the 'Elect' in the Cappella Nova, Orvieto. For other, similar, figure studies in black chalk see, for example, Louvre 1797.
Lit.: A.E. Popham, Catalogue of Drawings in the Collection formed by Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bart., F.R.S., now in the possession of his Grandson, T. Fitzroy Phillipps Fenwick of Thirlestaine House, Cheltenham', London, 1935, p. 9, no. 2; B. Berenson, 'The Drawings of the Florentine Painters', Chicago, 1938, II, cat. 2509 B-4, p. 329; A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 238, II, pl. CCII (with previous literature); C. Van Cleave, 'Luca Signorelli as a Draughtsman', unpublished D.Phil. diss., cat. 21, pp. 146-47; Idem., "Signorelli Disegnatore" and cat. entry, in 'Luca Signorelli', exh. cat., Perugia, Orvieto and Città di Castello, 2012, p. 325, no. 66.
Popham & Pouncey 1950
This figure, except for the head and arm, corresponds fairly closely, in reverse, with that of the man piping on the extreme r. in the mythological subject described above (1946,0713.12), and was possibly made in connection with that composition. Berenson suggests that this study may be for the soldier standing with his arm akimbo in the fresco of 'S. Benedict receiving Totila' at Monte Oliveto Maggiore (K. der K. 67); but the position of the head there is different.
Literature: BB 2509 B-4 (Gazette, x (1933), p. 283, fig. 3); Fenwick Catalogue, p. 9, no. 2, pl. XIII.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1983 Feb-Mar, Nottingham UAG, 'Italian Drawings', no. 41
1983 Mar-May, V&A, 'Italian Drawings', no. 41
1998/9 Nov-Jan, London NG, Signorelli
2012 Apr-Aug, Perugia, Galleria Nazionale dell'Umbria. 'Luca Signorelli'.
2016-17, Oct-Jan, Suzhou, 'Italian Renaissance Drawings', no. 1
2019 11 Apr-30 Jun, Macau Museum of Art, Macau, 'Italian Renaissance Drawings'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number