Inscribed on verso at lower center, "North Italy, cca. 1480."
The drawing – one of Janos Scholz’s earliest purchases – seems to represent two views of a single as yet unidentified sculptural group consisting of the torso of a young man arched backwards, accompanied by at least one infant, if not two. The figure lacks legs; instead its tunic ends in a skirt of vegetal motifs. There is a certain superficial similarity with the so-called Pasquino.1
The style suggests a Northern Italian artist of the early sixteenth century, possibly from Padua where antiquarian interests were cultivated. David Ekserdjian (note in the curatorial file, 2001) and Arnold Nesselrath (email to Morgan curators, 2001) both noted the drawing’s stylistic proximity to Amico Aspertini. Marzia Faietti suggested an Umbrian origin, in the wake of Perugino and Pinturicchio (unpublished opinion recorded in the curatorial file, 2004).
- Bober & Rubinstein 1986, no. 155; Penny & Haskell 1981, no. 72.
Selected references: Philadelphia and Detroit 1960-61, no. 153 (as Anonymous Italian School, 15th century).
Scholz, János, former owner.
Olivier, Henry Stephen, 1796-1866, former owner.