- Museum number
Two studies of the upper half of a man with left arm raised
Verso: A child's head on a book
- Production date
Height: 203 millimetres
Width: 137 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Watermark: cut and indistinct.
Achim Gnann connects this with a lost painting of the Crucifixion by Polidoro known from an engraving.
Lit. P.Pouncey and J.A. Gere, 'Italian drawings in the BM, Raphael and his circle', London, 1962, I, no. 209, II, pls. 177, 178 (with previous literature); A. Marabottini, 'Polidoro da Caravaggio', Rome, 1969, I, nos. 100, 101, II, pl. XCVII, 4, XCVIII 2; L. Ravelli, 'Polidoro Caldara da Caravaggio', Bergamo, 1978, nos. 155, 156; A. Gnann, `Zwei Kompositionen Polidoro da Caravaggios und deren Kopien`, `Musis et litteris`, 1993, p. 166
Pouncey & Gere 1962
The parallel curves of the r. edge of 1953,0509.450 and the l. edge of 1953,0509.451, and the placing of the arm bottom r. in 1953,0509.450 in relation to the lower study in 1953,0509.451, give the misleading impression that we have here two trimmed halves of the same sheet; but the arm in question is surely a l. arm, and the wire-marks of the two pieces of paper are not in alignment. They are, however, spaced in the same way, and what can be seen of the watermarks is not incompatible. The studies were obviously made at the same time, and it does seem probable that these sheets, which were acquired together, formed part of the same sketch-book and may even have constituted an opening. There are traces of red chalk off-setting on 1953,0509.450 verso.
The drawings bore no attribution when acquired. The studies, presumably for a crucified figure, are clearly from the life: the model grips a crutch-handled stick to support his weight. In 1953,0509.451 verso, the heavy cast shadow suggests that the drawing was made by lamplight. The head, which must be a piece of sculpture or a cast, stands on what appears to be a book in a limp vellum binding with turned fore-edges tied with thongs or ribbons.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2003 Sep-Dec, London, National Gallery, 'Polidoro's Way to Calvary'
2016-17, Oct-Jan, Suzhou, 'Italian Renaissance Drawings', no. 8
2019 11 Apr-30 Jun, Macau Museum of Art, Macau, 'Italian Renaissance Drawings'
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- This item has an uncertain or incomplete provenance for the years 1933-45. The British Museum welcomes information and assistance in the investigation and clarification of the provenance of all works during that era.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number