Master Collection 6: a man drawing another asleep
A man drawing, another asleep. Black and red chalk, pen and brown ink on paper. Attributed to Agostino Carracci (1557-1602).
The man on the left is drawing or writing.
- Can you spot the quill pen in his right hand?
The man on the right is fast asleep on a bench.
- What do you think the man is drawing, or writing about?
- Why do you think the other man is so tired?
They appear to be in a garden under the shade of a tree. But the tree might be a ‘flat’ piece of theatre scenery and they might be actors.
You can just see a join above the sleeping figure and around the foot of the seated man. If you look carefully you can see that the drawing of the sleeping man has been cut out from a different sheet and pasted onto this one.
The two figure studies were made separately. The artist then decided they would make an interesting composition together. It may have been an idea for a painting, or intended as a more finished drawing for sale to a collector.
This drawing was sketched in Italy over 400 years ago. We can tell this by the costumes and hats the men are wearing.
The artist, Agostino Carracci, was a painter, print maker, tapestry designer and art teacher who lived in Bologna, northern Italy.
This sketch shows how good he was at drawing. Pencil lines can be rubbed out, but ink is absorbed by paper and can only be rubbed out by scraping. You have to be very sure to draw in ink!
The stamp in the bottom left with a wild boar and initials ‘T. M. B.’ is the collector’s stamp of Thomas Man Bridge. He owned this drawing in the 19th century and bequeathed it to his sister Frances. She in turn left it to her step-daughter, Mrs Amy Master, who gave it with lots of other art works to Folkestone Museum in memory of Frances.