RD.12 Nude Warrior with Staff and Shield Striding Energetically to the Right

RD.12 Nude Warrior

Florence, Uffizi, no. 6495F.


Red chalk, 38 x 23.7; no wm. visible.  Inscribed in ink in the lower right corner: Il Rosso.


Berenson, 1903, 1938, 1961, no. 2426, as Rosso.

Kusenberg, 1931, 135, 140, no. 32, as Rosso, 1521-1523.

Barocchi, 1950, 195-196, Fig. 164, as Rosso, in a Bandinellian moment shortly before the Volterra Deposition.

Bologna and Causa, 1952, 59, as Rosso.

Griseri, 1964, 11, as seeming to derive from Berruguete.

Carroll, 1964 (1976), II, Bk. 2, 469-470, F. 19, 534, Bk. 3, Fig. 165, as Bandinelli, around 1515-1520.

Carroll, 1971, 35, n. 35, as Bandinelli, and probably done about the time as the drawing from which Agostino Veneziano engraved Bandinelli’s Cleopatra, dated 1515.


The inscribed attribution of this drawing to Rosso, which Berenson published in 1903, was not accepted by me nor independently by Griseri in 1964.  I would suppose that the drawing was attributed to Rosso, and dated by Kusenberg 1521-1523, because of the similarity of the abstraction of the figure to that of the nudes in Rosso’s Moses Killing the Egyptian and Defending the Daughters of Jethro of 1523-1524 (Fig.P.14a), although Barocchi dated it before the Volterra painting of 1521.  But as I wrote in 1964, the bold chiaroscuro, the character and planar definition of the head, and the rope-like description of the hair are not found in any drawing securely attributable to Rosso.  Furthermore, the patterns on the surface of the body suggest a sheen that is not an aspect of the abstraction of the figures in Rosso’s Moses.  I continue to find no reason to attribute this drawing to Rosso.

Ward in 1982 did not catalogue this drawing, indicating that he did not accept my attribution to Bandinelli.  The draughtsmanship is like that of Bandinelli’s red chalk Seated Male Nude Breaking a Rod with His Knee of 1512 in the British Museum (Fig.Bandinelli, Seated Nude),1 which had also been ascribed to Rosso, but not of the same moment.  The sheen on the figure in the Uffizi drawing seems to be like that translated by Agostino Veneziano in his engraving of Bandinelli’s Cleopatra, dated 1515 (Fig.Veneziano, Cleopatra).2  This kind of drawing appears in Bandinelli’s red chalk Standing Youth Raising a Curtain with His Left Hand of 1518-1519 in the British Museum (Fig.Bandinelli, Youth).3  A similarly posed warrior with staff and shield can be found in the upper left corner of Bandinelli’s Massacre of the Innocents engraved by Marco Dente da Ravenna (Fig.Marco Dente, Massacre) about 1520.4  If this drawing is not by Bandinelli then it is by someone closely associated with him.  It is related to a number of other drawings that have been wrongly attributed to Rosso (see RD.3).


1 Pp.1.  Ward, 1988, 22-23, no. 5, 89, Fig. p.89, as Bandinelli.

2 Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, no. 940-24.  B. XIV, 1813, 158, 193.

3 1885-5-9-35.  Ward, 1988, 39-40, no. 17, 101, Fig. p.101, as related to his Loreto relief first worked on in 1518-1519.

4 Uffizi, 656ss.  B. XIV, 1813, 24, 21.  Ward, 1988, 44, under no. 21, 144, Fig. 13.