Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Study for the Figure of Saint Peter

Daniele da Volterra (Daniele Ricciarelli) (Italian, Volterra 1509–1566 Rome)
ca. 1545
Black chalk
sheet: 16 1/2 x 9 3/8 in. (41.9 x 23.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Anonymous gift, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
This sculptural, carefully rendered study of the standing figure of Saint Peter (identified by the keys in his hand at left) is a rare early drawing by Daniele da Volterra, datable to the mid-1540s, when the artist had renounced the relatively provincial vocabulary of his early training in Volterra and Siena in favor of the bold, grand manner of the Roman school, then dominated by the aging Michelangelo and the pupils of Raphael (who had died in 1520).

The style and technique of the drawing resemble those of two studies in black chalk connected with the Ulignano Altarpiece (Museo Diocesano d'Arte Sacra, Volterra) -a monumental picture that includes a figure of Saint Peter at left, though of a rather different design, and is dated 1545 by the artist himself on the steps of the Madonna's throne. As seen here, Daniele's chalk drawings of the 1540s were inspired by the graphic techniques of Michelangelo's presentation drawings of the 1530s and are all characterized by a soft modeling of the shadows, in which the minute cross-hatching of the strokes is left evident, mostly without blending.

(Carmen C. Bambach, 2007)
Private Collection, New York
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 8, 2007–March 25, 2007.

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