- Museum number
Head of an elderly man in profile to right, wearing a cap
Metalpoint (probably silverpoint), heightened with white, on pink prepared paper
- Production date
- 1484-1494 (circa)
Height: 167 millimetres
Width: 129 millimetres
- Curator's comments
Lit.: J.D. Passavant, 'Tour of a German Artist in England', London, 1836, (translation from the original German ed. published in Frankfurt, 1833), II, pp. 92-3 (as Masaccio); G. Waagen, 'Treasure of Art in Great Britain', London, 1854, I, p. 224 (as Masaccio); A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 72, II, pl. LXX (with previous literature)
Popham & Pouncey 1950
Ascribed in the Payne Knight MS. Catalogue to Agnolo Gaddi, to whom it is also assigned in an inscription of c. 1800, in English, on the back of the mount. "Waagen, following Passavant, ascribed it to Masaccio. The attribution to Ghirlandaio is due to Berenson, who suggests that it is an early work and compares it with portrait heads to the r. of the fresco of the 'Funeral of S. Fina', at San Gimignano (Van Marle, xiii, fig. 4). A still closer resemblance can be seen to the head of S. Blaise in a panel attributed to Ghirlandaio in the Mazzarosa Collection, Lucca (repr. E. Lazzareschi, 'Lucca' (Series: 'Italia artistica'), 1931, p. 81).
Literature: BB 881, fig. 307 and pl. LXVIII of first ed.; Passavant, Kunstreise, p. 224; Waagen, Treasures, i, 1854, p. 224; B.M. Guide, 1895, no. 28; Van Marle, op. cit., fig. 68.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1972 BM, The Art of drawing, no.96
1974 July-Dec, BM, Portrait Drawings, no.37
1995 Jan-Apr, BM, Medieval Dept., Portraits of the Renaissance (no cat.)
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