Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Head of a man with a short beard, to front, his head inclined slightly to right Metalpoint (probably silverpoint), heightened with white, on cream prepared paper; outlines indented

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1496-1500 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 182 millimetres
    • Width: 125 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    A silverpoint study for another of the apostle heads is in the Bonna collection, Geneva (Strasser 2010, no. 4). Lit.: J.C. Robinson, 'Descriptive Catalogue of Drawings by the Old Masters, forming the Collection of John Malcolm of Poltalloch, Esq.', London, 1876, no. 160; A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 189, II, pl. CLXXI (with previous literature); N. Strasser, 'Dessins Italiens de la Renaissance au Siècle des Lumières, Collections Jean Bonna', Geneva, 2010, under no. 4

    Popham & Pouncey 1950
    In the Malcolm Catalogue as Perugino, but subsequently attributed to Lo Spagna. Fischel (loc. cit.) pointed out the fact that it is a study- what he calls a 'Hilfszeichnung' - for the head of the apostle on the extreme r. in the 'Ascension' at Lyons (K. der K. 50), painted for S. Pietro, Perugia, for which Perugino received payments, 1496-1500. The subject was repeated in all its details by Perugino for Sansepolcro (K. der K. 64); and most of the apostles occur again in the 'Assumption of the Virgin' of 1506 in SS. Annunziata, Florence (K. der K. 136).

    Literature: JCR 160; B.M. Guide, 1895, no. 86; Fischel, Umbrer, p. 129, no. 63, fig. 131.


  • Bibliography

    • JCR 160 bibliographic details
    • Popham & Pouncey 1950 189 bibliographic details
    • Sell et al 2015 45 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Italian Roy XVc)

  • Exhibition history

    1962/3 Nov-Sep, BM, Raphael and his Circle 1995 Jan-Mar, Southampton Gallery, 'Drawing the Line', no.155 1995 Mar-Apr, Manchester Gallery, 'Drawing the Line', no.155 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 name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Head of a man with a short beard, to front, his head inclined slightly to r Metalpoint, on grey prepared paper

Head of a man with a short beard, to front, his head inclined slightly to r Metalpoint, on grey prepared paper

Image description



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: PDO6766

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help