RD.2 Seated Old Woman Holding a Book

RD.2 Seated Old Woman

Berlin, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz.  Kupferstichkabinett, no. 4196.


Black chalk on dark gray paper, 26.7 x 16; laid down.


Berenson, 1903, 1938, 1961, no. 2393, as Rosso.

Kusenberg, 1931, 133, 139, no. 4, Pl. LXVI, 2, as Rosso, before 1517.

Barocchi, 1950, 200, n. 4, as Rosso.

Antal, 1956, 40, Pl. 16a, as Rosso.

Carroll, 1964 (1976), II, Bk. 2, 448-449, F. 2, Bk. 3, Fig. 139, as Sogliani.


Formerly ascribed to Sarto, the drawing was first attributed to Rosso by Berenson.  This attribution was accepted by subsequent critics but not by me in 1964.  As it has not been mentioned in print since then, there is no way of knowing what others have subsequently thought of the attribution to Rosso or of my rejection of it.  The angular and cusp shaped contours, and the broad, rather ill-defined planes of shading of the drawing are not specifically relatable to the draughtsmanship of any drawing certainly attributable to Rosso.  I still find my attribution to Sogliani likely.  A compositional drawing by Sogliani in the Uffizi (no. 6617F), related by Berenson (1938, no. 2556) to the frescoed Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes of 1536 in San Marco, Florence, contains figures similar to the one in the Berlin drawing.  The Berlin drawing is more angular in the drapery, but that may be because it is a drawing of a single figure and hence larger.  The sharply pointed features of the head resemble those of the head in Sogliani’s Standing Figure in the Uffizi (no. 14540F verso), a study for one of the saints in his Martyrdom of St. Acathius of 1521.1


1 See Roseline Bacou, “A Group of Drawings by Sogliani,” Master Drawings, I, 1, 1963, 41-43, Pl. 36b.