Master Collection 17: studies of a youth
Studies of a youth, his left arm outstretched (recto). Giuseppe Passeri (1654-1714) Italian. Red and white chalk on blue paper.
On the front of the sheet (called the recto) is a study of a youth.
There are five arms and five complete or partial hands (two arms and hands on the figure, a study of the left forearm and hand, and two studies of the right forearm and hand).
The artist has sketched them more than once because he wasn’t happy with the hands on the central figure. He drew the forearms and hands again, in more detail, at the sides. He also wanted to get right the way the man’s fingers curl around to hold the stick. Practice makes perfect!
This is a practice drawing or a preparatory sketch for a painting. Most artists draw or paint studies of figures before they put them in a final painting. It is drawn in red and white chalk on blue paper. The blue gives a contrast to the drawn lines.
The young man is holding a wooden stick, called a stave, in his right hand. His left arm is outstretched.
- Is he attacking someone, or defending himself perhaps?
We can see that the weather must have been warm as he has sleeves rolled up and has bare feet.
The artist of this drawing, Giuseppe Passeri, was a pupil of Carlo Maratta (1625-1713), who was formerly thought to have made the drawing. The technique and layout are typical of Passeri’s preparatory drawings. Passeri worked with Maratta on wall paintings in the Vatican at Rome. His best known paintings are scenes from the Bible.
Studies of a putto seen from behind and drapery (verso). Giuseppe Passeri (1654-1714) Italian. Red and white chalk on blue paper.
On the back of the sheet (called the verso) Passeri has drawn studies of drapery (draped cloth), a nude back, and the legs and feet of an infant. Chubby infants appear in lots of Italian paintings, with or without wings. In Italian they are called ‘putti’.
See the compositional drawing of the Madonna and Child by a follower of Carlo Maratta at Learn with Objects Master 11: Madonna and Child adored by two saints.