Study of a Figure Used in the Adoration of The Magi Cartoon Made for Domenico Alfani
Florence, Uffizi, no. 6487F.
Red chalk, 37.7 x 26.1; no. wm.
Berenson, 1903, no. 2418, as Rosso.
Kusenberg, 1931, 135, 140, no. 24, as Rosso.
Berenson, 1938, no. 2418, as Rosso.
Barocchi, 1950, 203, n. 1, as Rosso, of the Florentine period, and as similar to Uffizi 6477F, the Standing Nude Youth Seen from the Back.
Berenson, 1961, no. 2418, as Rosso.
Carroll, 1964 (1976), II, Bk. II, 464-465, F. 15, Bk. III, Fig. 159, as possibly by Vasari and possibly a copy of a lost drawing by Rosso of 1529; “Addition to the Preface,” 1976, vii, as very likely a copy of a lost drawing by Rosso for the Alfani Adoration of the Magi.
Carroll, 1987, 144, 146, n. 7, under no. 48, as a copy of a lost drawing by Rosso for the cartoon he made for Alfani.
Forlani Tempesti, 1992, 97, Fig. 8, as possibly by Giovanni Antonio Lappoli, but not as after Rosso.
Franklin, 1994, 286, n. 16, as not related to Alfani’s Adoration and not in any way related to Rosso.
The drawing is related to the figure on top of the architecture at the left in Cherubino Alberti’s Adoration of the Magi (Fig.E.1), engraved after Rosso’s lost cartoon that he made for Domenico Alfani in Perugia shortly after the Sack of Rome (L.20). From Alfani’s picture (Fig.Alfani) it can be seen that the print is reversed. The painting also shows a different figure in place of the one in the print, but Alfani has altered Rosso’s design, as known from the probably quite faithful engraving, in many other respects as well.
Close as the drawing comes to Rosso’s autograph studies, the Seated Nude Youth is not his but clearly by the same hand as the Standing Nude Youth Seen from the Back, Uffizi 6477F (Fig.D.21), which is a copy of a lost nude study used for the Adoration designed for Alfani. The left hand of the Seated Nude Youth is too feeble for Rosso, and the change in the position of the right foot is not the kind of pentimento that appears in any authentic drawing by him. This drawing is another copy of another lost drawing, probably of 1527, used but not necessarily originally made for the composition that Rosso designed for Alfani that year, which seems also to have been the case with Uffizi 6477F (D.21). Both could be copies of the kind of nude studies that Vasari says Rosso did almost every day (Vasari-Milanesi, V, 166). The same copyists seems to have done the drawing derived from lost studies by Rosso (Fig.D.26B) that were used for the Adoration of the Magi he designed for Giovanni Antonio Lappoli in 1528. However, the copies need not be by Lappoli.