Padre Resta’s characterisation of Baccio Bandinelli (1493–1560) as the ‘Competitore di M. Angelo nel possesso e facilità della penna’ is in part explained by the fact that two-thirds of Bandinelli’s very numerous extant drawings are accomplished in pen and ink.1 Disegni del Padre Resta. Vol 1: Father Resta’s Remarks on the Drawings, compiled presumably by Jonathan Richardson, Snr, British Museum, London, Lansdowne MS. 802, under no. K.117. Three autograph sheets have come to my attention since the writing of my thesis, in which 429 drawings are catalogued. In contrast, if the surviving corpus is indeed representative of Michelangelo’s entire graphic output, then it may be deduced that the older artist used the pen in about a quarter of his drawings, and after c. 1510 brown ink seldom was used alone to make fully finished figure studies. Still less frequently were pen and ink employed by Sarto, Pontormo and Rosso, the three painters with whom Baccio was associated as pupil, collaborator and colleague, respectively, during the second decade of the 16th century when a good number of disparate constituents coalesced to form his own, rather personal, graphic style. Thus did Baccio Bandinelli come to be regarded as one of the foremost Florentine proponents of the pen, and the essentials of his style, i.e. great vigour, a bold and incisive line, emphatic repetition of the contour stroke, rigorously regular hatching, were permanently, and from a very early date in Baccio’s career, linked with his name. By virtue of this continuous tradition an overwhelming majority of the autograph pen drawings have always been correctly attributed. To be sure, over the centuries the outline of this corpus became considerably blurred by the hundreds of mediocre (or worse) drawings produced by Bandinelli’s pupils, followers and imitators, accretions which it has been necessary to detach from his oeuvre in order to re-establish its integrity. 

Questions of connoisseurship in the study of Bandinelli’s drawings do not arise solely in the separation of pen studies by the master from those of his students, for our artist did not work in pen and ink exclusively. His fluency in various media has been recognised since the earliest days of the critical appreciation and collecting of drawings. I am thinking, in this connection, of the writings of Giorgio Vasari. His very lengthy Life of Bandinelli (only that of Michelangelo is longer) is more liberally spiced with references to drawing and draftsmanship in general, or to specific sheets that Vasari knew, than any of the other Lives. From the way it is arranged we are to understand that Bandinelli’s emergence as a mature sculptor was preceded by his ‘having previously acquired a reputation as a great draftsman’ on account of the fact that ‘a large number of drawings rendered in various styles issued forth from his hand.’2 Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori scritte da Giorgio Vasari. . . con nuove annotazioni e comenti da Gaetano Milanesi, Florence, 1878-85, vol. VI, pp. 138, 140. Some insight into Vasari’s meaning is provided by his remark that the youthful Baccio (presumably even before his apprenticeship with Rustici) ‘often went round the churches drawing the works of the best painters . . . and already he handled skillfully the stylus and the pen as well as red and black chalk.’3 ibid., pp. 135, 136. Baccio’s name appears in the list of prominent artists who sought to ‘apprehend the precepts and rules of sound accomplishment’ by copying from Masaccio’s frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel, and twice he is cited as one of those who came in order to draw from Michelangelo’s Bathers cartoon.4 Vasari-Milanesi, vol. II, p. 299; vol. VI, p. 137; vol. VII, p. 161. In this activity the young Bandinelli’s talent began to be made publicly manifest, for Vasari notes that he had not continued long therein before he outstripped everyone due to the fact that he outlined, shaded, finished, and comprehended the nudes better than any of the other draftsmen.5 Vasari-Milanesi, vol.VI, p. 137 Our understanding of Vasari’s comment is restricted because none of Baccio’s copies after the Cascina cartoon has survived, but given the writer’s choice of descriptive verbs like ombrava [shaded] and finiva [finished] we may presume, I would suggest, that he was appraising studies made with chalk similar to Bandinelli’s only remaining copy from Masaccio’s Baptism of the Neophytes.6 Naples, Museo di Capodimonte no. 783, red chalk, 26.5 x 12.9 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 251), repro. Eugene Carroll, The Drawings of Rosso Fiorentino, New York and London, 1976, fig. 193. In any event, Vasari makes perfectly clear at a number of places throughout the Bandinelli Life his virtually untempered admiration for the sculptor’s drawings in all media and from all periods of his working lifetime. When in 1566 Vasari came to write the Life he could refer to his own judiciously compiled collection, and note that ‘in our Libro there are some [i.e. of Bandinelli’s drawings] in pen and others in chalk: without a doubt it would be impossible to improve upon them.’7 Vasari-Milanesi, vol. VI, p. 190. Happily for us, drawings in pen and ink, black chalk, and red chalk, that once were part of the famous Libro de’ Disegni, can still be identified.8 See Licia Ragghianti-Collobi, II ‘Libro de’ Disegni del Vasari, Florence, 1974, figs 412–16. 

Vasari’s grasp of the fundamentals of Bandinelli’s chalk style was not destined to be sustained by subsequent amateurs. Today some forty-five autograph black chalk drawings are known (only about ten per cent of the entire oeuvre); in the past a substantial proportion of these had been attributed to artists such as Allori, Daniele da Volterra, Francesco di Prato, Francesco da Sangallo, Genga, Granacci, Luini, Michelangelo, Moretto, Moroni, Pontormo, Raphael, Rosso and Francesco Salviati. In the main, mistakes like these reflect a persistent lack of appreciation of two verifiable trends: namely, that a noticeable upturn in the later 1530s in the frequency with which Bandinelli used black chalk for making figure studies is indicative of a renewed interest in the contemporary graphic styles of Michelangelo and Sebastiano del Piombo, and, secondly, that these studies in this least familiar (and therefore, for Bandinelli, more experimental) medium constituted the vehicle with which he attempted to modernise his figure style so that it was more closely aligned with the maniera promulgated by Perino del Vaga in Rome and Bronzino in Florence. Hence the assignation of some of his black chalk drawings to North Italians, coeval Mannerists and Tuscans of the succeeding generation. The episode is a fascinating one that merits much closer examination and will be taken up in a more extended independent study.9 An article is forthcoming on Bandinelli and the Medici papal tombs in Rome, with a revised interpretation of the programme and a number of newly-identified drawings. 

Far more numerous are the surviving red chalk drawings (a total of ninety-eight sheets, or twenty-three per cent of the oeuvre) and the problems that attend them. Unlike the black chalk studies, those whose dates can be pinpointed are distributed fairly evenly from one terminus of a fifty-year-long career to the other, and leave no doubt that Bandinelli’s feeling for the medium was more instinctive than that betrayed by his initially somewhat awkward handling of black chalk. Red chalk studies appear in nearly every category of drawing that Baccio made, including landscape, genre, copies after other artists and after the antique, anatomical studies, pensieri and compositional drafts, clothed garzoni, drawings of the nude, drapery studies, even architectural elevations and a few highly finished modelli. From these observations it might seem to follow that Bandinelli’s red chalk drawings have always been recognised as his, but such is not the case. Most were executed in what might be called a communal Sartesque red chalk style that was carried well into the century by Salviati, revived by Naldini and transmitted to the Seicento by Poccetti and Empoli. Consequently, fully half of them were ascribed to a host of unnamed as well as known masters of the 16th and 17th centuries, including the Cavaliere d’Arpino, Bacchiacca, Cambiaso, Annibale Carracci, Daniele, Domenichino, Empoli, Franciabigio, Michelangelo, Parmigianino, Peruzzi, Pontormo, Poppi, Primaticcio, Raphael, Rosso (twelve sheets), Salviati, Sansovino and Sarto (ten sheets). 

The three compelling questions raised by any red chalk drawing given to Bandinelli those concerning its attribution, purpose, and date are quintessential posed by two large and very handsome drawings in the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, that only in recent years have been attributed to Baccio Bandinelli: The study of a man in contemporary costume and A seated male nude (figs 1, 2).10 Study of a man in contemporary costume (fig. 1). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Accession no. 563/4, red chalk, 39.1 x 20.9 cm. Inscribed on the recto: Andrea del Sarto, on the verso: Le Frate alla/. . . la Trastevere/Trastevere and 26, 19½ x 12 ½, 1020. Provenance: Sir Thomas Lawrence (Lugt 2445); Sir John Leslie, Bt of Glaslough, Ireland; Howard Spensley. Literature: Howard Spensley MSS, Book 1, p. 98, no. 581. Howard Spensley Bequest, 1939. A seated male nude (fig. 2). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Accession no. 564/4, red chalk, 39.3 x 25.7 cm. Inscribed on the verso: 57. Provenance: Sir John Leslie, Bt of Glaslough, Ireland; Howard Spensley. Literature: Howard Spensley MSS, Book 1, p. 98, no. 582. Howard Spensley Bequest, 1939. A good 16th-century copy of A seated male nude is at Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum AE 1416, red chalk, 39.8 x 24.4 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 27). When last I visited there (1979) it was kept under the name of Daniele da Volterra. It was attributed to Bandinelli or his studio by J. A. Gere (note on the mount) and catalogued by myself as a copy after an autograph drawing presumed to be lost, for at the time of writing (1981) I was not aware of the original at Melbourne. The Melbourne sheet was recognised as the original drawing by Nicholas Turner, to whom I am most grateful for having brought it to my attention. There are a number of general, contextual remarks to be made about the sheets when considered jointly; most obviously, perhaps, we may take note of their physical similarities. Both designs were accomplished on full-size (reçute) pieces of paper, the type consistently favoured by the artist throughout his career, that have been trimmed down. Both were made with the light orange-red chalk always preferred by Bandinelli, and commonly used by Florentine artists in the first decades of the 16th century. It is the type of chalk that Vasari describes as the lapis rosso, ‘a stone that comes from the mountains of Germany which, because it is soft, can be easily cut and sharpened to a very fine point.’11 Vasari-Milanesi, vol. I, p. 174. This orange-red shade that Baccio used is slightly drier in appearance and more translucent than the rich sanguine with a hint of russet in it that Sarto employed with such pleasing results throughout the 1520s, a chalk that can almost look like a modern compound crayon that contains some grease or wax. The literal adherence to the inherent colouristic properties of the medium which these two drawings exemplify is one of the hallmarks of Bandinelli’s red chalk drawings. Never did he supplement the medium by combination with others like white gouache to achieve half-tones and pastel tints; nor did he, like Pontormo, contrive to exploit the medium on its own, either by spreading the freshly-laid chalk dust with a damp brush, to produce a subtle red wash shading, or by moistening the chalk itself to make strokes or pockets of shadow nearly black in colour. It may be that Baccio’s red chalk style never incorporated any of the more exotic flourishes towards colourism found in the contemporary work of both Sarto and Pontormo, simply because it congealed in the studio of a sculptor and at the very moment at which the art of Leonardo (perhaps the single most important influence on the young Bandinelli) turned decisively towards the monochromatic. 

 

The corollary to these observations is that for Bandinelli red chalk was principally a fine medium, like the pen, and not a broad one. Precision was its essence, and in drawings like those at Melbourne he capitalised on a technique of very dense hatching or cross-hatching applied all round or simply on either side of an area that is left blank in order to create a chiaroscuro pattern that suggests three-dimensional volumetric form. The unshaded area appears to be ‘higher’ than the shaded area(s), and the resulting impression of topographical relief is intensified in proportion to the degree of contrast between the blank area and the shaded, which in turn is a function of how closely spaced are the hachures. Modulations from light to dark areas, as well as within the shaded areas themselves, are generally more subtle than photographs can convey, but the conspicuous effect of this chiaroscuro system is that of making a rounded surface seem hard, slick, and impermeable, for it appears to give off flat reflections rather than variegated or mottled ones. In the present instance we may note that the technique of A seated male nude is more complex than that of the Man in contemporary costume, with curving, round-the-form hatching in the pelvic region and interlocking planes of hachures across the torso, for the artist has attempted to translate into linear terms the palpability of the model’s visceral physiognomy: the basic components are, however, for all intents and purposes identical in the two Melbourne drawings. 

An adjunct, but ever-present, feature of this chiaroscuro system, one that can prove distressing to modern eyes (preferring the transient to the fixed), is the silhouette-like contour of nearly all figure studies to which it was applied. This contour was not fortuitous, for the shading very often was fastidiously kept within precise stylus-drawn outlines (as in fig. 12, for example). That this kind of outlining is original and not simply an indentation caused by a copyist taking a tracing of the contour can be confirmed in those few cases where the shaded form exceeds (and therefore can be seen to have been drawn over) the boundaries indicated by the preliminary drawing in stylus. Furthermore, very faint residual chalk smears occasionally lead one to conclude that the extraneous portions of such shading strokes were rubbed away by the artist himself in an effort to ‘purify’ and clarify the outline. Again, there is no reason to suppose that a restorer might have been responsible for such modifications. The Florentine in the 16th century did not feel a modern antipathy towards the kind of high finish produced by such tidying-up; Vasari, at least, looked upon it as one of the laudable features of Bandinelli’s draftsmanship.12 Of Bandinelli’s immaculately finished modello now at Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung no. 2215 (Ward, 1982, no. 249) for the Martyrdom of St Lawrence engraving (Bartsch XIV.89.104), Vasari comments at length that ‘By drawing most subtly Baccio made the story of St. Lawrence, in which he depicted with much reason and art the costumes and nudes and diverse actions of the body and its members …’ (Vasari-Milanesi, vol. VI, p. 147). 

These considerations of similarities in medium and technique expose the underlying generic relationship between the Man in contemporary costume and A seated male nude. Bandinelli’s drawings from identifiably live models, whether clothed in the dress of the bottega or nude, are surprisingly rare, there being no more than twenty-five of each kind. They are outnumbered more than two to one by other categories such as compositional designs and modelli, types of drawings that are relatively scarce in the oeuvres of Michelangelo and Sarto. Of the Melbourne examples it may be stated that, notwithstanding the everyday clothing of the one, and the frank nudity of the other, the live models depicted in both drawings were posed with great deliberation and studied with utmost care. (Theoretically such poses might have appeared initially in some of the artist’s own invenzione drawings or rough compositional sketches, but it seems more likely, as we shall see, that the formal motive for each figure was suggested by the work of another artist.) They are perfectly representative of their classes in that each is a very large-scale isolated image on an uninterrupted field. The inspiration for such grand exercises was in all likelihood two-fold: Leonardo’s ever more simplified painted compositions that began with the lost Annunciate Angel (copied by Bandinelli at an early age) and culminated in the Louvre St John the Baptist, and Michelangelo’s similarly imposing chalk studies for the Ignudi of the Sistine Ceiling.13 Baccio’s large pen drawing after the Annunciate Angel (Ward, 1982, no. 211), to my knowledge, has not again surfaced since it appeared a number of years ago on the London market (Christie’s, 1 July 1969, Lot 119; repro. Kathleen Weil-Garris, Leonardo and Central Italian Art, 1515–1550, New York, 1974, fig. 48). One of Michelangelo’s greatest red chalk drawings for the Ignudi is at Vienna, Albertina Inv. 120 recto, repro. Frederick Hartt, Michelangelo Drawings, New York, 1970, fig. 105. 

Examination of the Melbourne drawings individually has one last common point of departure, and this regards their recent provenance. When drawings from the collection of Sir John Leslie, Bt of Glaslough, Ireland, were auctioned at Sotheby’s in 1936 the Man in contemporary costume and A seated male nude were sold collectively with a third sheet (untraced) as Lot 37, described only as ‘Two Studies of the Nude, Red Chalk, and Another’ and attributed to the ‘School of Michelangelo’.14 London, Sotheby’s, 9 December 1936, Lot 37. This lot fetched a sum of only £5-0-0 (a low price even in those days), and shortly thereafter the drawings now in Melbourne were acquired from Walford Wilson by Howard Spensley, with whose Bequest they entered the National Gallery in 1939. 

In the 19th century the Man in contemporary costume belonged to Sir Thomas Lawrence, and the old attribution recorded by the inscription on the recto, Andrea del Sarto, apparently met with no opposition. The enumeration 1020 on the recently-exposed verso of the sheet indicates that the drawing was contained in that large and undifferentiated Lot of Samuel Woodburn’s sale at Christie’s on 12 June 1860 of the residue of the Lawrence Collection, along with material from other sources. Following its appearance on the London art market in 1936 as a product of the School of Michelangelo, the drawing was attributed to Daniele da Volterra by Berenson and to Bacchiacca by Sir Karl Parker. The attribution to Bandinelli was provided only in 1977 by Professor John Shearman, and affirmed by Nicholas Turner in 1980.15 These various attributions are recorded in the National Gallery’s dossier on the drawing. 

The correctness of Shearman’s attribution can be verified visually by comparing the Man in contemporary costume to two drawings, recently published elsewhere, for which Bandinelli’s responsibility is unquestionable. Drawings of A young man carrying a dish (at Düsseldorf) and A standing man raising a curtain (British Museum) are identical to the Melbourne Gallery’s Man in terms of function, choice of medium and realisation.16 See Roger Ward, ‘Some Late Drawings by Baccio Bandinelli’, Master Drawings, vol. XIX, no. 1, 1981, pp. 3–14, pis 11, 13. All three are action studies of live models, wearing informal clothes, who take up predetermined attitudes invented in earlier pensieri sketches or derived from a prototype. All three are lighted from above and to the left, and feature long vertical strips of fairly dense red chalk shading, with distinctly implied lines of demarcation between shadow and highlight. Comparison of certain minor details of shading, such as the shadows cast by the standing figures in the Melbourne and London drawings, leaves no doubt that they are by the same hand. The hips, thighs and legs of all three models are stylised into elliptical forms defined by continuous, even emphatic, contours, but the sheer bulk of the Man in contemporary costume finds its nearest match in a lost drawing of exactly the same type recorded in a 17th-century engraving by Jan de Bisschop (fig. 3).17 Jan de Bisschop, Paradigmata Graphices Variorum Artificium . . ., The Hague, 1671, pl. 38B (Ward, 1982, no. 428). Bandinelli’s original would have been in reverse to the engraved image, i.e. the figure would have been orientated to the left, and thus the lighting would have been coincident with that in the other three drawings. Like the Düsseldorf and London designs, this lost study was made in 1518 in connection with some preliminary composition for Bandinelli’s relief of the Birth of the Virgin (fig. 7) on the Santa Casa at Loreto.18 The details of Bandinelli’s sojourn at Loreto and Ancona from mid-1518 until the spring of 1519, and his work on the Birth of the Virgin relief, have been sorted out more precisely than before by Kathleen Weil-Garris, The Santa Casa di Loreto, New York and London, 1977; see especially pp 40 ff. and 100–56. The lost drawing recorded by our fig. 3 would have been made with reference to a figure that stood at the right edge of a hypothetical composition, but the pose probably originated in the female figure who stands at the far left edge of what was Bandinelli’s first complete compositional draft for the relief, a large and well-known drawing at Florence, Uffizi 710E (Ward, 1982, no. 148), repro. Carroll, 1976, fig 229. 

The man in contemporary costume stands with his head bowed, eyes closed, one hand tucked beneath the opposite arm and the other hand raised as if to shield his face. The formal motive for this classicising expression of grief or mourning very probably was recommended to Bandinelli by the figure of St John in Donatello’s bronze Crucifixion relief on the North (Gospel) Pulpit in S. Lorenzo, Florence.19 Repro. H. W Janson, The Sculpture of Donatello, Princeton, 1963 edn, pi. 106. Such an assertion must be couched in qualified terms, because Bandinelli has directed his model to the right instead of to the left, and because he has both altered and edited the pose, straightening the figure’s posture, adjusting the positions of the legs and throwing the head and upraised arm into unambiguous profile. This kind of variation on a stated theme, however, is not unique in Bandinelli’s oeuvre, for at Budapest there is another life drawing of A seated woman in contemporary costume (fig. 4) that obviously was instigated by a female mourner seated along the bottom towards the left-hand edge of the same Crucifixion relief.20 Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts no. 1881, black chalk on paper washed mauve, 20.3 x 27.9 cm (Ward. 1982, no. 12). The emendations and regularising simplifications that Bandinelli made to Donatello’s figures can be regarded as a conscious, retrospective critique, for, in a letter of 7 December 1547 to Cosimo I de’ Medici, Bandinelli commented that ‘When he did the pulpits and doors of bronze in S. Lorenzo for Cosimo il Vecchio, Donatello was so old that his eyesight no longer permitted him to judge them properly and to give them a beautiful finish; and although their conception is good, Donatello never did coarser work.’21 See G. Bottari and S. Ticozzi, Raccoita di lettere sulla pittura, scultura ed architettura, Milan, from 1822, vol. I, pp. 70–73. 

A magnificent compositional design for a Deposition (fig. 5) that came to light on the London market just over a year ago is without doubt a work of Bandinelli’s maturity.22 London, Sotheby’s, 9 April 1981, Lot 74, now with Messrs Colnaghi and included in their Summer Exhibition, 1982, no. 4; pen and brown ink, 38.5 x 28.1 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 224). The photograph was kindly provided by Jean-Luc Baroni of Colnaghi, to whom I am most grateful. Replete with Donatellan reminiscences, the bystander at the extreme right contains a recollection of the Man in contemporary costume that is apparent even though the figure is orientated in reverse and now holds the Nails in his raised hand. Some of the figures in the Deposition drawing were repeated or reflected in the bronze relief of that subject given by Bandinelli to the Emperor Charles V in 1529, and known to us through a bronze replica by Antonio Susini now in the Louvre (fig. 6). There is still, I believe, a faint echo of the Melbourne drawing in the turbaned man in the left middle-ground, whose right arm is now extended as he shows or gives the Nails to a pair of grief-stricken spectators. The Budapest Seated woman has been divided, as it were, and her pose shared between the two female mourners in the extreme bottom-left corner of the Deposition relief. 

The emotional aloofness and technical consistency that inform Bandinelli’s red chalk drawings make them more than a little difficult to date. If the hypothesis concerning the origins of the Man in contemporary costume is correct, however, we may presume with some confidence that it signifies a response to the installation of Donatello’s pulpits in the Medici church in preparation for the Entrata of Leo X into Florence on 30 November 1515. A tentative dating as early as this is in no way contradicted, but rather is corroborated, by the red chalk studies for the Birth of the Virgin, drawings which may be assigned with certainty to the year 1518. 

Methodologically we must now retrace our steps and again begin with the questions of whether and why A seated male nude (fig. 2) should be attributed to Baccio Bandinelli. Once more we may turn for comparative material to his preparatory works for the Birth of the Virgin relief (fig. 7), only the right half of which was executed by Bandinelli during the years 1518–19. At Leningrad there is a fairly small, exceptionally elegant, compositional sketch (fig. 8) in which Bandinelli seems to be trying to condense his ideas for his portion of the relief by abbreviating a more complicated design, now in the Museum at Chantilly.23 Leningrad, Hermitage no. 7017, pen and brown ink over stylus, 13.5 x 16.4 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 176). Chantilly, Musée Conde no. F.R XVII–106, pen and brown ink over stylus, 16.6 x 24.6 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 14; repro. Ward, 1981, pl. 15). In both the Chantilly and Leningrad designs (but not in the finished sculpture) there appears a woman who approaches St Anne’s bed as if to offer congratulations for a safe delivery. That Bandinelli seriously contemplated including this woman in the relief is clear, for he went to the trouble of making a meticulously shaded red chalk study of a nude female figure in this pose (fig. 9).24 Lille, Musée de Lille no. 19, red chalk, 34.8 x 16.8 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 180). This unpublished drawing might have been made from a bozzetto or wax model: such is suggested, at least, by the implication of a preternaturally smooth surface texture and the sketchy, nearly abstract rendering of the left hand. Nevertheless, in it can be seen the workings of the mind responsible for the Melbourne Seated nude, one compelled by an urge to silhouette the naked form, solidify the contour, and manipulate the body so that the axis of the hips is diagonal to the picture plane, the shoulders are parallel to it and the face thrown into profile. It should be mentioned that the drawing at Lille has been tampered with, for the shading of the diamond-shaped space between the woman’s legs and the drapery she holds is not original. If the white of blank paper were visible this passage would resemble most tellingly the void between the Seated nude’s abdomen and his left arm. Enough has been said to obviate the need for comment on the congruence of red chalk techniques used in these two drawings: in the face of this and the other points of comparison advanced above it would be difficult, in my opinion, to argue that they were made by different hands. 

Having secured the attribution of the Melbourne Seated nude the drawing may be placed in the context of a whole cluster of very similar sheets. The finest of these include one that was attributed to Rosso when it passed through a London saleroom in 1964 (fig. 10),25 London, Sotheby’s, 1 December 1964, Lot 170, and then New York, W. Η Schab Gallery, red chalk, 40.5 x 24.0 cm max. dimensions (Ward, 1982, no. 265). The photograph was kindly provided by Julien Stock of Sotheby’s, to whom I am most grateful. and another (fig. 11) from the collections of Benjamin West and Richard Payne Knight which, for reasons that are apparent, carried an inscription on its old mount (now backed) reading ‘Disigno dal nâturale per l’adamo della Capella Sistina di Michel Angelo Buonaroti.’26 London, British Museum no. Pp. 1–61, red chalk over stylus, 26.0 x 38.7 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 186). Still a third example of Bandinelli’s ‘heroic’ red chalk nudes (fig. 12) was cut from the blue montage given to it by Mariette, and with the mount this connoisseur’s attribution was discarded. Morel d’Arleux attributed the drawing to Andrea del Sarto, under whose name it remained until being restored, presumably, to Bandinelli by Reiset in 1866.27 Paris, Louvre no. 93, red chalk over stylus, 38.9 x 25.8 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 321); see F. Reiset, Notice des dessins . . au Musée Impérial du Louvre, Paris, 1866, no. 62. Surely it was a drawing like this one (as well as others that he owned) that prompted Mariette to remark of Bandinelli that he ‘n’a plus fait de figure qui ne fût un Hercule’ while at the same time expressing his preference for Bandinelli’s red chalk drawings over those accomplished in pen and ink because, in his view, ‘ils approchent davantage du vrai’.28 P.~J. Mariette, Description sommaire des desseins. . . de cabinet de feu M. Crozat. . . [catalogue of the sale of the Crozat Collection, 10 April~13 May 1741], Paris, 1741, see Lots 38–41.       

The common denominator of the Melbourne Seated nude and the other drawings cited immediately above is that all were predicated by a study of the Sistine Ceiling. The nudes in the Melbourne and ex-Schab drawings (figs 2, 10) are loosely patterned after some of Michelangelo’s Ignudi, particularly those above the Delphic, Cumaean and Erythraean Sibyls, while the figure in the Louvre drawing (fig. 12) seems to combine a disposition of the arms and legs similar (in reverse) to that of the Ignudo above and to the left of the Persica, with a great forward curve of the torso and agonised facial expression inspired by the Laocöon.29 See Charles de Tolnay, Michelangelo II: The Sistine Ceiling, Princeton, 1949, pls 92, 95–98, and 103.The British Museum drawing (fig. 11), instead of being an interpolation of Adam in the Creation of Man, to my mind represents an improvisational borrowing (again, in reverse) from the reclining figure of Ahasuerus in the Crucifixion of Haman spandrel.30 ibid., pl. 131.      

When these drawings were made is indeterminate, since none is related to a work of Baccio’s own and because the dating of his red chalk drawings on internal evidence is highly speculative, given the absence of any clear stylistic progression. At most it may be surmised that the smallish facial features, svelte tubular limbs and rather forced integration of the physical forms of the British Museum Reclining nude associate it with early works like the Leda with the swan painting of c. 1516/17 in which the same characteristics are to be seen.31 Repro. Carroll, 1976, fig. 220. Similarly the larger, more powerful and dynamic anatomy of the Louvre Nude is symptomatic of the virtual obsession with Hellenistic sculpture that came to dominate Bandinelli’s art during the 1520s, epitomised by the engravings of The Massacre of the Innocents (c. 1520/21) and The Martyrdom of St Lawrence (c. 1525).32 ibid., figs. 232, 234. The Melbourne and ex-Schab Nudes would seem to fall somewhere between the other two in this hypothetical chronological sequence. That drawings very like the Melbourne Seated male nude still were being made in the latter years of Bandinelli’s long career is proved, however, by an unpublished study of A nude youth drinking from a jug in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum (fig. 13).33 Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz Museum Z.3450, red chalk over stylus, 40.2 x 28.3 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 24). The motive for the pose may owe something, at the root, to the Jonah of the Sistine Ceiling. Adjustments were made to the Youth drinking from a jug, and in the guise of an old man the figure took its place in a virtuoso drawing of The drunkenness of Noah (fig. 14), one of a series of brilliantly realised modelli for bronze reliefs depicting episodes from the Old Testament.34 London, British Museum 1895-915-549, pen and brown ink, 36.1 x 28.6 cm max. dimensions (Ward, 1982, no. 195). For further information on these modelli see Ward, 1981, p. 11 and n. 42. Several additions can be made to the list of them drawn up by Jacob Bean in 1960; I hope to be able to discuss this important ensemble in a separate place in the not-too-distant future. Meant to decorate the recinto of Bandinelli’s octagonal choir in S. Maria del Fiore, these reliefs were designed in the autumn of 1547; like many of Bandinelli’s projects, it is sad to recall, they were never completed. 

   

Roger Ward, Assistant Curator in Charge, Department of European Painting and Sculpture, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri (in 1982).

Acknowledgements

I am deeply grateful to Caroline Coffey, Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings at the National Gallery of Victoria, whose assistance greatly facilitated the preparation of this article. She compiled the technical information contained in note 10, made available to me both photographs and colour transparencies of the drawings reproduced in figs 1 and 2, and arranged to have the Study of a man in contemporary costume lifted from its mount so that its verso might be examined. Much of the material presented here is from my unpublished Ph.D. thesis on ‘Baccio Bandinelli as a Draughtsman’, Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, 1982. 

Notes

1         Disegni del Padre Resta. Vol 1: Father Resta’s Remarks on the Drawings, compiled presumably by Jonathan Richardson, Snr, British Museum, London, Lansdowne MS. 802, under no. K.117. Three autograph sheets have come to my attention since the writing of my thesis, in which 429 drawings are catalogued. 

2          Giorgio Vasari, Le Vite de’ più eccellenti pittori, scultori, ed architettori scritte da Giorgio Vasari. . . con nuove annotazioni e comenti da Gaetano Milanesi, Florence, 1878-85, vol. VI, pp. 138, 140. 

3          ibid., pp. 135, 136. 

4          Vasari-Milanesi, vol. II, p. 299; vol. VI, p. 137; vol. VII, p. 161. 

5          Vasari-Milanesi, vol.VI, p. 137. 

6          Naples, Museo di Capodimonte no. 783, red chalk, 26.5 x 12.9 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 251), repro. Eugene Carroll, The Drawings of Rosso Fiorentino, New York and London, 1976, fig. 193. 

7          Vasari-Milanesi, vol. VI, p. 190. 

8          See Licia Ragghianti-Collobi, II ‘Libro de’ Disegni del Vasari, Florence, 1974, figs 412–16. 

9          An article is forthcoming on Bandinelli and the Medici papal tombs in Rome, with a revised interpretation of the programme and a number of newly-identified drawings. 

10        Study of a man in contemporary costume (Fig. 1). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Accession no. 563/4, red chalk, 39.1 x 20.9 cm. Inscribed on the recto: Andrea del Sarto, on the verso: Le Frate alla/. . . la Trastevere/Trastevere and 26, 19½ x 12 ½, 1020. Provenance: Sir Thomas Lawrence (Lugt 2445); Sir John Leslie, Bt of Glaslough, Ireland; Howard Spensley. Literature: Howard Spensley MSS, Book 1, p. 98, no. 581. Howard Spensley Bequest, 1939. A seated male nude (Fig. 2). National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Accession no. 564/4, red chalk, 39.3 x 25.7 cm. Inscribed on the verso: 57. Provenance: Sir John Leslie, Bt of Glaslough, Ireland; Howard Spensley. Literature: Howard Spensley MSS, Book 1, p. 98, no. 582. Howard Spensley Bequest, 1939. A good 16th-century copy of A seated male nude is at Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum AE 1416, red chalk, 39.8 x 24.4 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 27). When last I visited there (1979) it was kept under the name of Daniele da Volterra. It was attributed to Bandinelli or his studio by J. A. Gere (note on the mount) and catalogued by myself as a copy after an autograph drawing presumed to be lost, for at the time of writing (1981) I was not aware of the original at Melbourne. The Melbourne sheet was recognised as the original drawing by Nicholas Turner, to whom I am most grateful for having brought it to my attention. 

11        Vasari-Milanesi, vol. I, p. 174. 

12        Of Bandinelli’s immaculately finished modello now at Munich, Staatliche Graphische Sammlung no. 2215 (Ward, 1982, no. 249) for the Martyrdom of St Lawrence engraving (Bartsch XIV.89.104), Vasari comments at length that ‘By drawing most subtly Baccio made the story of St. Lawrence, in which he depicted with much reason and art the costumes and nudes and diverse actions of the body and its members …’ (Vasari-Milanesi, vol. VI, p. 147). 

13        Baccio’s large pen drawing after the Annunciate Angel (Ward, 1982, no. 211), to my knowledge, has not again surfaced since it appeared a number of years ago on the London market (Christie’s, 1 July 1969, Lot 119; repro. Kathleen Weil-Garris, Leonardo and Central Italian Art, 1515–1550, New York, 1974, fig. 48). One of Michelangelo’s greatest red chalk drawings for the Ignudi is at Vienna, Albertina Inv. 120 recto, repro. Frederick Hartt, Michelangelo Drawings, New York, 1970, fig. 105. 

14        London, Sotheby’s, 9 December 1936, Lot 37. 

15        These various attributions are recorded in the National Gallery’s dossier on the drawing.    

16        See Roger Ward, ‘Some Late Drawings by Baccio Bandinelli’, Master Drawings, vol. XIX, no. 1, 1981, pp. 3–14, pis 11, 13. 

17        Jan de Bisschop, Paradigmata Graphices Variorum Artificium . . ., The Hague, 1671, pl. 38B (Ward, 1982, no. 428). 

18        The details of Bandinelli’s sojourn at Loreto and Ancona from mid-1518 until the spring of 1519, and his work on the Birth of the Virgin relief, have been sorted out more precisely than before by Kathleen Weil-Garris, The Santa Casa di Loreto, New York and London, 1977; see especially pp 40 ff. and 100–56. The lost drawing recorded by our Fig. 3 would have been made with reference to a figure that stood at the right edge of a hypothetical composition, but the pose probably originated in the female figure who stands at the far left edge of what was Bandinelli’s first complete compositional draft for the relief, a large and well-known drawing at Florence, Uffizi 710E (Ward, 1982, no. 148), repro. Carroll, 1976, fig 229. 

19       Repro. H. W Janson, The Sculpture of Donatello, Princeton, 1963 edn, pi. 106. 

20       Budapest, Museum of Fine Arts no. 1881, black chalk on paper washed mauve, 20.3 x 27.9 cm (Ward. 1982, no. 12). 

21       See G. Bottari and S. Ticozzi, Raccoita di lettere sulla pittura, scultura ed architettura, Milan, from 1822, vol. I, pp. 70–73. 

22        London, Sotheby’s, 9 April 1981, Lot 74, now with Messrs Colnaghi and included in their Summer Exhibition, 1982, no. 4; pen and brown ink, 38.5 x 28.1 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 224). The photograph was kindly provided by Jean-Luc Baroni of Colnaghi, to whom I am most grateful. 

23        Leningrad, Hermitage no. 7017, pen and brown ink over stylus, 13.5 x 16.4 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 176). Chantilly, Musée Conde no. F.R XVII–106, pen and brown ink over stylus, 16.6 x 24.6 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 14; repro. Ward, 1981, pl. 15). 

24        Lille, Musée de Lille no. 19, red chalk, 34.8 x 16.8 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 180). 

25        London, Sotheby’s, 1 December 1964, Lot 170, and then New York, W. Η Schab Gallery, red chalk, 40.5 x 24.0 cm max. dimensions (Ward, 1982, no. 265). The photograph was kindly provided by Julien Stock of Sotheby’s, to whom I am most grateful. 

26        London, British Museum no. Pp. 1–61, red chalk over stylus, 26.0 x 38.7 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 186). 

27        Paris, Louvre no. 93, red chalk over stylus, 38.9 x 25.8 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 321); see F. Reiset, Notice des dessins . . au Musée Impérial du Louvre, Paris, 1866, no. 62. 

28        P.~J. Mariette, Description sommaire des desseins. . . de cabinet de feu M. Crozat. . . [catalogue of the sale of the Crozat Collection, 10 April~13 May 1741], Paris, 1741, see Lots 38–41. 

29        See Charles de Tolnay, Michelangelo II: The Sistine Ceiling, Princeton, 1949, pls 92, 95–98, and 103. 

30        ibid., pl. 131. 

31        Repro. Carroll, 1976, fig. 220. 

32        ibid., figs. 232, 234. 

33        Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz Museum Z.3450, red chalk over stylus, 40.2 x 28.3 cm (Ward, 1982, no. 24). 

34        London, British Museum 1895-915-549, pen and brown ink, 36.1 x 28.6 cm max. dimensions (Ward, 1982, no. 195). For further information on these modelli see Ward, 1981, p. 11 and n. 42. Several additions can be made to the list of them drawn up by Jacob Bean in 1960; I hope to be able to discuss this important ensemble in a separate place in the not-too-distant future.