Head of a Bearded, Young Man in Profile Facing Right
Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano) (Italian, Monticelli 1503–1572 Florence)
Black chalk on light brown paper
8 1/4 x 6 1/4 in. (21 x 15.8 cm)
Harry G. Sperling Fund, 2001
Not on view
This delicately drawn study portrays the bearded head of a youthful man of Apollonian beauty that might have been used to represent the figure of Christ. The modeling of the shadows is seamlessly blended, with a masterful use of the technique of stumping, or rubbing in, of the individual strokes of soft black chalk.
Applied to brilliant effect by Michelangelo in the 1530s and 1540s, this drawing technique with black chalk was greatly emulated by Florentine Mannerist artists of the following decade, and foremost by Agnolo Bronzino. The head seen here recalls those in the Medici tapestries on the story of Joseph, which were designed by Bronzino between 1549-50 and 1553. This sheet was acquired with an attribution to 16th century Florentine artist, and George Goldner reattributed it to Bronzino soon after the acquisition.
Marking: Unidentified collector's stamp: possibly Lugt 518a, or less probably Lugt 521a, identified with Achille de Clemente (see also Sotheby's, London, July 11, 2001, lot 2.)
Achille de Clemente (Italian); Sotheby's, London (British), July 8, 1998, lot 16; Sotheby's, London (British), July 11, 2001, lot 2 as Giuliano Bugiardini; Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel, Munich; Vendor: Katrin Bellinger Kunsthandel , Munich
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 29, 2002–January 26, 2003.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 9, 2006–April 6, 2006.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Drawings of Bronzino," January 19, 2010–April 18, 2010.
The Drawings of Bronzino Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Ed. by Carmen C. Bambach, New York, 2010, pp. 184-85, no. 44 (entry by George R. Goldner).