RD.4 Copy of an Ignudo

RD.4 Copy of an Ignudo

Copy of An Ignudo by Michelangelo Flanking “God Separating Light And Dark” on The Sistine Ceiling

Chatsworth, The Chatsworth House Trust, no. 900.


Red chalk, 41.3 x 27.9, the lower right corner and the left edge repaired.  Inscribed on the verso: Buonarotti.

PROVENANCE: Sir Peter Lely (Lugt 2092).  N A. Flinck (Lugt 959).  William, 2nd Duke of Devonshire (Lugt 718), from 1723-1724.


Passavant, 1833 (1836), II, 142, as Michelangelo.

Waagen, 1854, III, 354, as Michelangelo.

National Exhibition of Works of Art, Leeds, 1868, no. 2635, as Michelangelo.

Giovanni Morelli, Italian Painters: The Borghese and Doria-Pamfili Galleries in Rome, London, 1892, and 1900, 130, as Pontormo (judging from the Braun photograph).

Michael Jaffé, Old Master Drawings from Chatsworth, exh. cat., Alexandria, Virginia, 1987-1988, 116-118, no. 68, with Color Pl., as Rosso, soon after he went to Rome in 1524.

Anne Sutherland Harris, review of above exhibition, Master Drawings, 27, 1, 1989, 74-75, as Rosso.

Costamagna, in Rennes, 1990, 84, under no. 36, as Rosso.

Costamagna, 1991, 54, Fig. 9, as Rosso.

Miller, 1992, 113, n. 7, was inclined to accept the drawing as Rosso’s.

Jaffé, 1994, T and U, 4, Color Pl., 28, 88, no. 57 (900), 89, Color Pl., as Rosso, done soon after he went to Rome in 1524.

Harprath, 1994, 359, 362, as Rosso.  Jaffé, 1995, no. 20, Color Pl., as Rosso.


Jaffé pointed out that in 1984 he recognized the drawing as Rosso’s and that in 1929 a note by Popham suggested the same artist.  Jaffé thought the Chatsworth drawing could be compared with the red chalk Nude Youth in Profile in the Uffizi (6473F recto), which he accepted as Rosso’s but which I think is Bandinellian with stylistic aspects like those of drawings that have been attributed to Vincenzo de’ Rossi and Bandini (Fig.RD.8, recto).

The draughtsmanship of the Chatsworth drawing is totally unlike that of any drawing that can with certainty be attributed to Rosso.  The chiaroscuro is too rich and too slick, and while it does create a figure with the elegent sensuousness of Michelangelo’s ignudo, this is an aspect of Michelangelo’s art that Rosso does not seem to have emulated.  Rosso’s Michelangelism, as in the Cesi Chapel (Fig.P.17a), and the drawing for the figure of Eve in Edinburgh (Fig.D.10), and in the Pluto and Proserpina engraved by Caraglio (Fig.E.46a), and the Boston Dead Christ (Fig.P.18a), is of a more robust kind.

I am inclined to see this drawing as by Alonso Berruguete.  This is not easy to prove as no drawing oeuvre has been established for him.  But there is a red chalk drawing of Christ with Cherubs in the Uffizi, inscribed with his name,1 which, although a much later post-Italian drawing, makes an attribution of the Chatsworth drawing to him probable.  The Chatsworth drawing seems stylistically strikingly similar to the Madonna and Child with the Young St. John the Baptist (the Loeser tondo) in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, once given wrongly to Rosso and then attributed to Berruguete (Fig.RP.9a).

The Chatsworth drawing is graphically similar to that of the Lamentation formerly in the collection of Kenneth Clark (Fig.RD.20).


1 Uffizi, 10282 S.  41.3 x 23.5.  Inscribed in ink at the upper right: Berrugete no[?] sg[?].  Sricchia Santoro, 1966, Fig. 4, as Berruguete.  The drawing is a study for Christ in Berruguete’s Transfiguration of the 1550s in San Salvador, Ubeda (Cámon Aznar, 1980, 27, 168-171, with Figs.).