Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Two nude men, one sitting with a book to left Silverpoint (left figure) and leadpoint (right figure), heightened with white (partly discoloured), over blind stylus, on grey prepared paper, some made up areas at the edges

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1485-1488 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 259 millimetres
    • Width: 185 millimetres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Content

        Verso inscribed in a 15thc. hand at top: "Spiritum r..te dicende... infunde ...virgo pia' and with an S written with a stylus. In much later hand in pencil: "Spinelli" and at lower right: "Andrea del Ver[rocchio]"
  • Curator's comments

    Ascribed to Verrocchio when acquired, this was correctly attributed to Lippi by the time of the 1895 'Guide'. This sheet is similar to the drawing of a pair of draped figures in the BM (1895,0915.454; Popham and Pouncey no. 136). The present study is a relatively rare example by Lippi of a study of a nude, probably a 'garzone' (studio assistant). The combination of two models is found in a number of metalpoint drawings of similar size and format by the artist which Scharf (p. 82) believed were once in a sketchbook. Shoemaker dates this study to 1483-85, Goldner to the mid-to-late 1480s before the artist went to Rome in 1488.

    The medium of the drawing has been confirmed by Satoko Tanimoto and Giovanni Verri from the Department of Scientific Research in a campaign of investigation of the Italian 15th century drawings linked to the forthcoming 2010 exhibition. The analytical methods employed have been non-destructive and non-contact ones: infrared and ultraviolet imaging, with XRF and Raman spectrometry. Lit.: S. Colvin, in exhib. cat., BM, 'Guide to an Exhibition of Drawings and Engravings by the Old Masters, principally from the Malcolm Collection', London, 1895, no. 22; A. Scharf, 'Filippino Lippi', Vienna, 1935, no. 311, p. 82, fig. 149; B. Berenson, 'The Drawings of the Florentine Painters', Chicago, 1938, II, no.1345, p.150; A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 134 (with previous literature), II, pl. CXXII; I.H. Shoemaker, 'Filippino Lippi as a Draughtsman', Michigan, 1993 (U.M.I. facsimile of 1975 Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, New York), no. 31, pp. 181-2, fig. 31; G.R. Goldner, in exhib. cat., New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 'The Drawings of Filippino Lippi and His Circle', 1997, no. 36, pp. 178-9; H. Chapman and M. Faietti, exhib. cat., BM, London, `Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance Drawings`, 2010, no. 65, pp.236-7 (cat. entry by R. Sassi).

    Popham & Pouncey 1950
    Ascribed to Verrocchio when acquired, this characteristic sheet of studies was correctly attributed to Filippino in the 'Guide' of 1895.

    Literature: BB 1345; B.M. Guide, 1895, no. 22; A. Scharf, op. cit., cat. no. 311, fig. 149.


  • Bibliography

    • Popham & Pouncey 1950 134 bibliographic details
    • Sell et al 2015 40 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Italian Roy XVc)

  • Exhibition history

    1981 Jan-Apr, V&A, 'Drawing: Technique & Purpose', no. 14 1997/8 Oct-Jan, Metropolitan MA, 'Filippino Lippi', no.36 2010 April-July, BM, `Fra Angelico to Leonardo`, no.65 2011, March-June, Uffizi, Florence, 'Figure, Memorie, Spazio: Disegni da Fra'Angelico a Leonardo', no.65 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'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number


Two nude men, one sitting with a book to l Metalpoint, heightened with white (partly oxidised), on grey prepared paper, some made up areas at the edges

Two nude men, one sitting with a book to l Metalpoint, heightened with white (partly oxidised), on grey prepared paper, some made up areas at the edges

Image description



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Object reference number: PDO6651

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