Andrea Mantegna

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Andrea Mantegna

Three Standing Saints

ca. 1455–60
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

Item description: 

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.