Nude Male Figure Seated on the Ground

Amico Aspertini (Italian, Bologna ca. 1474–1552 Bologna)
ca. 1535–40
Black chalk, brush and brown wash, highlighted with white gouache, on brown-washed paper
Overall: 9 3/4 x 14 5/16in. (24.8 x 36.4cm)
Mount: 16 x 22 in. (40.6 x 55.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Walter C. Baker Gift, 1967
Accession Number:
Not on view
The figure, posed on a shelf like projection ornamented with a scalloped valance, may be studied for one of the many monochrome façade decorations that Aspertini is said to have executed, above all in Bologna (Vasari 1568, vol. 5, pp. 179-180). The reeds or long grasses indicated in the background are possibly intended to identify the figure as a river god. The stocky, thick-necked physical type is typical of Aspertini, but here the figure is invested with a certain monumental nobility. In figural type and technique of execution, the Metropolitan Museum drawing relates to a sheet in the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi (inv. 1269 F), in which the reclining male nude figure faces right. The flourish of drapery over the figures' shoulders and the indication of foliage in the background of the compositions suggest that both drawings may be studies for the same or similar façade decorations. Stylistically, the Museum's drawing and that in the Uffizi can be dated in the late 1530s.
Inscription: Annotated in pen and brown ink on the lower border of the old mount in Richardson's hand, "Amico Aspertini."
Jonathan Richardson Sr. (British); Charles Noel, 1st Earl of Gainsborough (British); Sotheby's, London (British), July 22, 1953, no. 2According to Sotheby's, London, July 22, 1953, no. 2; purchased in New York in 1967.; Philip Pouncey (British); Walter C. Baker (American); Donor: Walter C. Baker (American)
Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Old Master Drawings from American Collections," April 29, 1976–June 13, 1976.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 16, 1983–April 17, 1983.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Emilian Drawings and Prints in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1500-1700," March 26, 1987–May 24, 1987.

National Gallery, Alexandros Soutzos Museum, Athens. "In the Light of Apollo : The Italian Renaissance and Greece," December 10, 2003–March 31, 2004.

Herman Shickman Gallery Exhibition of Old Master Drawings Exh. cat., H. Shickman Gallery, New York. New York, 1968, cat. no. no. 6, fig. no. 6, p. 6.

Jacob Bean "Ninety-ninth Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year 1968-1969, Reports of the Departments: Drawings." in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, n.s. vol. 28, no. 2, New York, October 1969, p. 68.

Ebria Feinblatt Old Master Drawings from American Collections. Exh. cat., Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Los Angeles, 1976, p. 78, no. 78, ill.

Jacob Bean, Lawrence Turčić 15th and 16th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1982, cat. no. 12, fig. no. 12, p. 26, ill.

Marzia Faietti "New Drawings by Amico Aspertini." Master Drawings. Vol. 29, No. 2, 1991, p. 168 and notes 12, 60.

William M. Griswold, Linda Wolk-Simon Sixteenth Century Italian Drawings in New York Collections. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art (January 11 - March 27, 1994). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994, pp. 2, 138, no. 1, ill.

Marzia Faietti Amico Aspertini e Dosso Dossi, pittori "antidiligenti" in L'arte nella storia. Contributi di critica e storia dell'arte per Gianni Carlo Sciolla. Ed. by Valerio Terraroli et al., Milan, 2000, pp. 177, 182, fig. 5.