Francesco de' Rossi, called Francesco Salviati

Salviati’s many surviving drawings reflect his fecund imagination, technical proficiency, and stylistic flair. This sheet is notable for its skillful application of brown wash, including thick strokes, quick accents, and sinuous contours. The artist’s bravura graphic performance is matched by his playful interpretation of the subject: a soldier in a quasiballetic pose. The young man balances on one foot while gingerly lifting a curtain, whose volume and heft Salviati has conveyed through masterfully modulated brown wash. Unconnected to any of the artist’s known projects, this large, highly finished drawing was likely intended to function as an independent work of art.

Francesco de' Rossi, called Francesco Salviati
Italian, 1510–1563
Young warrior, seen from behind, lifting a curtain, 1550–55
Pen and brown ink, and brush and brown wash, heightened with white opaque watercolor, over black chalk
The Art Institute of Chicago, gift of Richard and Mary L. Gray; 2019.864
Gray Collection Trust, Art Institute of Chicago
Photography by Jamie Stukenberg, Professional Graphics Inc.