Head of a Bearded, Young Man in Profile Facing Right

Bronzino (Agnolo di Cosimo di Mariano) Italian

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.

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

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