Bearded Nude Male Figure Running Toward the Right
- Veronese School, possibly a follower of Stefano da Verona (Stefano di Giovanni) (Italian, Verona (?) 1374/75–?ca. 1438 Castel Bragher)
- mid-15th century
- Pen and brown ink.
- 12 1/16 x 8 in. (30.6 x 20.3 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Robert Lehman Collection, 1975
- Accession Number:
The strong contours of this sheet, seen especially in the treatment of the hair and beard, recalls Stefano da Verona's drawing style, as are the parallel hatched lines used to create shading. The drawing was likely produced by a follower of the artist. The identity of this nude male figure running in a landscape, bearing the attributes of a single boot, a shield, and a spray of flowers, remains enigmatic. It may represent a mythological god -- perhaps Jupiter -- or an allegorical figure. It is also possible that it depicts a wild man, a mythical figure covered in hair who was popular in medieval and Renaissance legend. Symbolizing strength and the balance between the human and natural world, wild men were frequently depicted bearing a heraldic shield.
A significant document in the early history of collecting, the drawing bears a partially canceled collector's mark and an inscription (“Questo desegno fo de felixo") to the right of a cross bisecting a circle in either half of which is placed the initials "f" and "e", which could have been written by the early fifteenth-century Veronese collector, Felice Feliciano.