During the Italian Renaissance, drawing sculptures was a fundamental step in the training of a young draftsman. On this sheet, the artist known as Poppi (from his birthplace in Tuscany) drew a group of six studies of heads after a three-dimensional model, a sculpture or marble relief of a putto or a cherub. The artist changed his position point of view for each study, filling the page with the same motif from various angles in order to achieve a full understanding of its form and volume. The present sheet is directly comparable to a large series of drawings in the Uffizi, Florence done similarly from cast copies and sculptures. This type of smiling, or laughing, infant heads surprisingly resembles examples by Jacopo Sansovino (1486-1570). The sheet may date between Poppi’s 1572 trip to Rome - where he was greatly exposed to sculpture, both antique and contemporary - and 1574, the year of his admission to the Accademia del Disegno in Florence.
Private Collection, New York; Thomas Williams Fine Art Ltd., London; Vendor: Thomas Williams Fine Art Ltd., London
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," October 25, 2016–January 30, 2017.
Carmen C. Bambach "Tuscan Drawings of the Quattrocento and Cinquecento in the Metropolitan Museum of Art 1998-2005." Invisibile agli occhi: Atti della giornata di studio in ricordo di Lisa Venturini. Ed. by Nicoletta Baldini, Fondazione di Studi di Storia dell'Arte Roberto Longhi, Florence, 2007, fig. no. 101, pp. 84, 93 n.58, ill.
Artist: Attributed to Poppi (Francesco Morandini) (Italian, Poppi 1544–1597 Florence)Date: 1544–97Medium: Red chalk on off-white paper. Recto: squared in red chalkAccession: 1999.279a, bOn view in:Not on view
Artist: Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, Caprese 1475–1564 Rome)Date: ca. 1510–11Medium: Red chalk, with small accents of white chalk on the left shoulder of the figure in the main study (recto); soft black chalk, or less probably charcoal (verso)Accession: 24.197.2On view in:Gallery 899