Benedetto Luti

Download image: 
Benedetto Luti
Head of the Virgin
Pastel on paper.
16 1/8 x 12 5/8 inches (410 x 320 mm)
Purchased as the gift of Helen-Mae and Seymour Askin, Diane Nixon, Andrea Woodner, Mr. and Mrs. Jean-Marie Eveillard, and the Fellows Endowment Fund.

Benedetto Luti was a masterful painter, collector, and draftsman in Rome at the turn of the eighteenth century. He is perhaps best known for his pastels of single heads and bust-length views of apostles, saints, angels, and children. Luti rendered these highly finished drawings such graceful intimacy and vibrant coloration that they stood as autonomous works rather than mere preparatory studies. Contemporaries admired Luti for his skillful adaptation of the earlier styles of Correggio (1489-1534) and Pietro da Cortona (1596-1669). As a connoisseur and teacher, he left behind a sophisticated collection of drawings, to which the present drawing belonged. The soft, delicate luminosity of Head of the Virgin demonstrates how well Luti's pastels evince the contemplative subject of the Virgin on a small scale.

Artist page: