Holy Family with Saints
Inscribed at lower left, in pen and brown ink, titiano (partially effaced)
Purchased by Pierpont Morgan, 1910
One of the most creative architects and painters in Rome during the first half of the sixteenth century, Peruzzi arrived there in 1503 from his native Siena. He found employment assisting Raphael on the frescoes of the Vatican Stanze (papal apartments) and on the design and decoration of the palace of the banker Agostino Chigi, the most sophisticated dwelling in Rome at the time.
With a spontaneity of gesture and a sure, light touch, Peruzzi penned rhythmic outlines of form. Then, brushing in areas of wash for shadow, he highlighted the volumes as if illuminated by a directed source of light. A drawing such as this would have been used as the design for a painted altarpiece.