66. [Italian school]
Attributed to BANDINELLI, Baccio
Drawing, pen and brown ink, black chalk, 23,5 x 32,8 cm, laid paper, signed in pen and brown ink at lower left corner "Bacio Bandinelli" (laid down on cardb. support, large vert. folding crease, 1,5 x 7 cm of lower left corner torn off, two non-obtrusive brown damp stains at right edge, some minor creases and staining throughout).
Under glass and wooden frame with original label from Abbott collection on verso (studied outside frame).
The Florentine sculptor Baccio Bandinelli (1493-1560) produced a large number of pen and ink studies in preparation for sculptural projects. He was praised by Vasari as "a brilliant draughtsman". Two techniques are used in the sheet. While the lower section consists of four head studies and one study of an upright leg executed in pen and brown ink, the upper section is drawn in black chalk and consists of studies of eight female figures. Particularly the lower male studies are akin to Bandinelli's bold style of drawing, characterised by the use of large parallel hatchings to create volume, the deep and saturated eye sockets and sharp angular shape of the noses. Comparable figure studies are "A boy writing and four sketches of heads turned to left", in the British Museum Collection (inv. 1946,0713.267), "A bearded man", in the same collection (inv. 1946,0713.264), and the "Holy Family" in the Metropolitan Museum of Arts New York (12.56.6). The female figures in black chalk are based upon an engraving by Jacopo Caraglio, depicting the Battle between the Muses and Pierides, dated 1520-1539 (Bartsch XV:53). They are probably by a later hand.
Ref. Roger Ward, "Baccio Bandinelli, 1493-1560: Drawings from British Collections", Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum, 1988.
Prov. Francis Abbott (1801-1893), Curator of the collection of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (blind stamp at lower right corner, Lugt 970).
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