Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Two Seated Male Figures Within Spandrels.

Andrea Schiavone (Andrea Medulic or Meldolla) (Italian, Zadar (Zara) (?) ca. 1510?–1563 Venice)
16th century
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, highlighted with white gouache, reworked with red chalk, on paper washed pale mauve
sheet: 9 3/4 x 6 9/16 in. (24.8 x 16.7 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Katrin Bellinger, 2008
Accession Number:
Not on view
Executed with a highly animated, pictorial brush drawing technique, over red chalk, this sheet contains studies for the design of two different seated male figures. Since there are no distinguishing characteristics or attributes, these bearded men could be prophets, or evangelists, or doctors of the church. As each of the studies shows the figure in a foreshortened view from below and compressed within a triangular format, it is clear that they were intended for fresco paintings on the spandrels or pendentives supporting a dome or vault.

Thr dawing shows the same strikingly rough modellling, spirited use of the brush, and verve of anatomical outlines as Schiavone's monochrome frescoes, being closely comparable, for example, to the monochrome figures in the Pellegrini Chapel of San Sebastiano, Venice, of ca. 1548-52. According to the Francis L. Richardson, expert on Schiavone, the two figures may have been intended for a lost fresco-cycle, datable to about 1548-58, in the Church of the Carmine, Venice, a project which is known from a description of 1648 by the Venetian historian and artist, Carlo Ridolfi. An overall composition drawing for this lost project is in the Graphische Sammlung Albertina no. 1580, Vienna. Born in Zara and chiefly active in Venice, the Dalmatian artist Schiavone was famous in his day as a monumental fresco painter, elegantly facile draftsman, and skilled printmaker.
Benno Geiger (German, 1882–1965), Vienna (as published); Kurt Meissner, Zürich, Zurich; John Steiner and Alice F. Steiner; Steiner Family Collection by descent; Donor: Katrin Bellinger
Handzeichnungen alter Meister aus Schweizer Privatebesitz. Kunsthalle, Bremen 16 April - 21 May 1967; Kunsthaus, Zurich October - December 1967. Bremen and elsewhere, 1967, pp. 49-50, no. 47.

Françoise Forster-Hahn Old Master Drawings from the Collection of Kurt Meissner, Zurich. Stanford, 1969, p. 34, no. 26, ill.

Francis L. Richardson Andrea Schiavone. Oxford, 1980, p. 135, no. 209.

Alfred Moir Old Master Drawings from the Collection of John and Alice Steiner. Exh. cat. Santa Barbara Museum of Art. 1986, p. 96-97, no. 39 (as Schiavone, entry by Richard Serros).

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