J.M. Merz, Pietro da Cortona, Tübingen 1991, p. 48, note 206;
J.M. Merz, 'Life Drawings by Pietro da Cortona,' Master Drawings, vol. XLIII, no. 4, 2005, pp. 471-2; p. 480, no. A23, reproduced in color p. 474, fig. 21
Merz considers this an early work, of the 1620s, because of the way the nude is studied and represented. His article (see Literature) presents a most interesting analysis of Cortona's male academies, of the placement of the models, of the technique of drawing them and of the purposes they served. Later in his career Cortona was able to rely less literally on the posed model, but nonetheless it remained a regular part of his studio practice.
The drawing came for sale in 1988 from an album which had probably been compiled by a collector in Rome in the mid-18th century, perhaps directly from the contents of an artist's studio. It contained a large number of drawings by Giovanni Battista Beinaschi for commissions in Naples and Rome, as well as works by different hands, many unattributed. At that time the attribution to Cortona was proposed independently by both Nicholas Turner and Peter Dreyer.
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