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Giovanni Girolamo Savoldo (1480–1548/49)
Head and Shoulders of a Bearded Man
Black and white chalk, with some brown wash; outlines pricked for transfer
10 1/2 x 7 5/8 inches (267 x 193 mm.)
Gift of Benjamin Sonnenberg, 1977; 1977.61
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Brescian by birth, Savoldo lived in Venice from at least 1520 until 1548. He was an exceptionally rare draftsman, to whom only about fifteen drawings have been attributed. His drawings exhibit the same sense of atmosphere and luminosity that characterize the chalk drawings of Titian, Lotto, and other painters of the Venetian school.

The sitter is shown in contemporary dress. His sidelong glance leveled at the viewer and full lips—parted as if about to speak—make this one of the most intriguing of Savoldo's portraits.

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The programs of The Morgan Library & Museum are made possible with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Background images: Photography by Todd Eberle unless otherwise noted. © 2006 Todd Eberle.