Three Standing Saints
Pen and brown ink on paper tinted with red chalk
7 x 7 1/2 inches (178 x 191 mm)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Victor Thaw
Mantegna began working as court painter to the ruling Gonzaga family in Mantua in 1460. Here the artist sketched three figures with bold strokes of a thick-nibbed pen and vigorous parallel hatching. He placed them on a common ledge and explored two alternatives for the angle at which the cross is held by the central saint. The purpose of the drawing and a related study of a standing saint in the British Museum remains unknown.