Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Five Nude Infants in Various Poses

Circle of Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, Urbino 1483–1520 Rome)
ca. 1500
Metalpoint, traces of charcoal or black chalk, on pale pinkish gray prepared paper.
9 3/8 x 7 7/16 in. (23.8 x 18.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
Accession Number:
Not on view
Among the studies of children on this sheet, the figure portrayed seated upon a tree stump may represent the Christ Child, while the child holding a book may portray the infant Saint John. Although the subject remains unidentifiable, the tree stump, and the new branch which grows from it, are references to the Old and New Testament and were frequent symbols of rebirth and resurrection. This carefully executed drawing has long been associated with the circles of Perugino and his most gifted pupil, Raphael.
Marking: Annotated on the verso in pen and ink in a nineteenth-century hand (legible through the backing): Raffaele and 1833 W E 21O.
Conestabile, Perugia (?); J. Thane, London(?); William Esdaile, London (Lugt 2617); Esdaile sale 1840, 18 June, lot 60; John Postle Heseltine, London (Lugt 1508); Henry Oppenheimer, London; Oppenheimer sale 1936, lot 136. Acquired by Robert Lehman in 1936.
Joseph Antenucci Becherer. Pietro Perugino: Master of the Italian Renaissance. Exh. cat., Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Mich. New York, 1997, pp. 196-199, no. 15.

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