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D.16 Standing Bearded Nude with a Fillet Binding His Hair

D.16. Standing Bearded Nude with a Fillet Binding His Hair

1524

Florence, Uffizi, no. 6992F.

Fig.D.16

Red chalk, 40.4 x 12.7; wm.?  Inscribed in ink at the bottom: Clemente Bandinelli.

LITERATURE:

Carroll, 1961, 448, Fig. 7, 449-450, as Rosso, from his Roman period.

Carroll, 1964 (1976), I, Bk. I, 115-118, 120, Bk. II, 230-233, D.14, II, Bk. III, Fig. 36, as Rosso, around 1525.

Carroll, 1987, 78, Fig., 86, n. 9, under nos. 9-14, as Rosso, and resembling the hero in Rosso’s Hercules Shooting Nessus engraved by Caraglio [E.20].

Smith, in Petrioli Tofani and Smith, 1988, 56, no. 24, 57, Color Pl., as Rosso, c. 1525-26, as indicating a study of Raphael’s Battle of Ostia.

 

As a type of figure this male nude, with its sturdy, muscular body, stocky neck, and thickset arms and legs, is almost identical to the figure of Hercules in Rosso’s Hercules Shooting Nesus (Fig.E.20), designed in Rome and engraved by Caraglio.  The graphic description of these two nudes is also extremely similar: the contours are sharply and tautly drawn and the internal modeling is handled in such a manner as to bring out every nuance of light and shadow on the rippling surfaces of the bodies.  Considering the accuracy of Caraglio’s reproductions of Rosso’s drawings, as can be judged by comparing the four surviving disegni di stampe used by Caraglio for his engravings of Rosso’s Gods in Niches with the prints themselves (Fig.D.17A; Fig.E.32; Fig.D.17B; Fig.E.33; Fig.D.17C; Fig.E.34; Fig.D.18a; Fig.E.42), the similarity of the Standing Bearded Nude to the Hercules in Carglio’s engraving effectively guarantees that the drawing is an autograph work by Rosso.  This conclusion is further supported by the very close similarity of the draughtsmanship of the drawing to that of Rosso’s study (Fig.D.7) for the figure of St. Sebastian in the Dei Altarpiece of 1522 and of his Seated Woman in a Niche of 1524 (Fig.D.11).  The schematized patterning of the hair and beard of the nude is also found in Rosso’s Seated Male Nude of around 1523 (Fig.D.9).  This appears as well in the Throne of Solomon (Fig.D.34), in the Pietà in Borgo Sansepolcro (Fig.P.19c), and in the Neptune in a Niche (Fig.E.30) and the Hercules Overpowering the River Achelous (Fig.E.23) engraved by Caraglio in Rome.

Considering the extreme similarity of the Standing Bearded Nude to the figure of Hercules in the Hercules Shooting Nessus, it is reasonable to assume that the drawing and print, and the design of this print, were done at the same time.  The six Labors of Hercules engraved by Caraglio (E.19-24) would seem to have been invented by Rosso in the second half of 1524.  A date early in Rosso’s Roman period is also suggested by the incisiveness of the draughtsmanship of the drawing that is so like that of the Seated Woman in a Niche datable in 1524, probably very shortly after Rosso’s arrival in Rome.

The attribution of this drawing to Clemente Bandinelli, under whose name it is kept in the Uffizi, can in no way be defended in spite of the inscription – but not a sixteenth century inscription – on the drawing.  Another red chalk drawing of a standing male nude in the Uffizi, no. 6993F, inscribed Clemente in the same hand, is a feeble, uncontrolled study clearly not related to the drawing here attributed to Rosso.  Although a few pieces of sculpture by the artist have been recognized,1 nothing really verifiable is known about his activity as a draughtsman, although the Uffizi has a good number of drawings attributed to him. Marcucci’s unargued attributions of a few drawings – all at one time given to Rosso – to this young sculptor2 are wholly unconvincing, especially as one of the drawings that she gives to Clemente, the Nude with a Standard, Uffizi 6497F (Fig.D.12), can be so readily seen and so easily proved to be an autograph work by Rosso himself.  Her penciled note on the mount of Rosso’s Seated Male Nude, Uffizi 6489F (Fig.D.9), suggesting that it, too, is by Clemente, is again wholly incomprehensible.  While the inscribed attribution of the Standing Bearded Nude to Clemente Bandinelli cannot, for lack of any real evidence about the drawing style of this young sculptor and son of Baccio Bandinelli, be directly refuted, the defense offered here on behalf of the present attribution to Rosso should reciprocally indicate the falseness of its currently held attribution to Clemente.


1 See Heikamp, 1960.

2 See Marcucci, 1953, 87, n. 22.