bears number in brown ink, recto: 1592.
black chalk on blue paper (recto and verso), squared for transfer (recto)
Jacopo's repertory of figure poses was vast, as Roger Rearick points out in his article (see Literature below), in which he analyses the varying functions and uses of Tintoretto's drawings. Discussing the present sheet, he says: 'An unpublished double-sided black chalk nude study on still fresh blue paper....is not the only extant version of this life sketch. The identical figure may be found on another sheet in the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt' (op. cit., fig. 7).
According to Rearick, the Darmstadt drawing and this one are both preparatory for the St. Roch in Prison of 1566 (op. cit., fig. 5), although the Darmstadt study has previously been associated with the Worship of the Golden Calf, of 1564, in the Madonna dell' Orto. He continues by explaining the function of both drawings in relation to the painting. It appears that for a brief period, around 1564, Tintoretto drew life studies in an oily chalk, sometimes, as we see here, applying it over a light sketch in his usual dry black chalk. The majority of these oily chalk drawings relate to the frescoes in the Madonna dell' Orto. After 1564 he seems to have abadoned this medium or to have used it only occasionally. Rearick concludes that drawing in oily chalk, such as this one, cannot be found outside the years 1561 to 1565.
Tintoretto's method of reusing his figure studies leads Rearick to propose that yet another study for the same figure must at some point have existed, preceding the present drawing: 'Although we can find no direct proof of the existence of this lost earlier figure study, we must cite at least half a dozen earlier pictures in which it appears with variations, most notably the 1564 Golden Calf'. Rearick believes the verso of this sheet to be by a workshop assistant.
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