Recto/Verso drawing


(Volterra 1611 – Florence 1690)

Male Nude (recto)
Six intertwined curved lines decorative motifs (verso)
Around 1641
Red pencil, white lead on beige laid paper (recto)
Pen, brown ink and red pencil traces (verso)
17.48×11.22 inch

The unpublished drawing in red pencil highlighted with white lead here assigned to Il Volterrano – confirming the ancient attribution written both on the front and on the back – represents a male nude sited turned to the left who, insisting on the right arm and lifting the other, turns the chest to the right pointing out the muscles of the back and part of the head seen from behind. Very detailed and permeated of an intrinsic dynamism, the Male Nude here examined allow us to focus on a specific kind of studying from live, the one based on nude models, for long practised by Volterrano not only in his youth but also when he was the owner of a workshop. […]

The dating around 1641 referred here to the Male Nude finds its implicit support in the erotic aphorism written in pen on the back (where the word “crin” meaning hair is a synecdoche allusion to the loved woman) that suggest, indeed, a contemporaneity of our drawing and the so called Venal Love painted by Volterrano between the 1641 and the 1642 and held at Palazzo Pitti.

Excerpt of the expertise by Doc. Maria Cecilia Fabbri

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