Andrea Mantegna


Executed in a remarkably rapid, sketchy style, this is a rare example of Mantegna’s draftsmanship. Comprising a series of studies for the same figure, the drawing shows the apostle St. Andrew or St. Philip holding a book and a cross. Depicted from a low vantage point, the figure was presumably intended to be placed high on a wall or in the upper level of a polyptych altarpiece. Mantegna turned the figure, shifted the length and break of his drapery, played with the angle of the head and the position of the book, and summarily reworked minor details.

Andrea Mantegna
Italian; 1431–1506
Three Standing Saints, ca. 1450–55
Pen and brown ink on paper toned with red chalk