L.30 Twenty-Eight Drawings of Nudes

1528 and 1529


In the inventory of 1532 of Rosso’s possessions that were left when he fled Arezzo in 1529 (see DOC.13) there is listed: “Ventiotto carte de designi ignudi.”  These could possibly be related to the “studio d’ignudi” that Vasari says Rosso made for the fresco project at S. Maria delle Lagrime in Arezzo begun late in 1528 and left incomplete in 1529 (see the Preface to D.31-34 and these entries, and L.25).  More likely they are individual studies of the nude made for no particular work of art.  That so many nude drawings were made around this time – and if not all of these in 1528 and 1529, still none probably earlier than mid-1527 when he fled Rome carrying probably no, or few, of his works with him – gives support to Vasari’s comment, made just before he says that Rosso fled to Venice, that “nel vero il Rosso era studiosissimo nell’arte, ne passava mai giorno, che qualche ignudo non disegnasse di naturale” (Vasari, 1550, 803; 1568, II, 209, Vasari-Milanesi, V, 166, slightly differently worded).  Some of these independent nude studies might have been used in compositions, or held in reserve for their use in future work.  For such use in making the cartoon for Alfani’s Adoration of the Magi, see L.20, D.21, and D.22.

Franklin, 1994, 236, 293, n. 57, notes that some of Rosso’s drawings of unspecified subjects left behind in Arezzo (see also L.24, L.25, L.27, L.28, L.29, L.31, L.32, and L.33) could have been among those in an Aretine collection (of the Aretine painter Teofilo Torri) offered to Carlo de’Medici in 1618.1


1 See Luciana Borri Cristelli, I disegni della Collezione Torri nella Biblioteca di Arezzo, Arezzo, 1986, 9-10, with reference to a manuscript of Ricordanze of 1610-1623 by Torri in the library in Arezzo that mentions drawings by Michelangelo, Raphael, Taddeo Zuccari, Rosso, Barocci, and Beccafumi.