Lot 234
  • 234

Circle of Michelangelo Buonarroti

1,000 - 1,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Michelangelo
  • Profile of a man
  • Red chalk;
    bears number in red ink: No29- (see Provenance)


Martelli Collection, Florence (bears their numbering);
probably William Young Ottley;
Sir Thomas Lawrence (L.2445);
Sir Thomas Phillipps, Bt.,
by descent to his grandson, T. Fitzroy Fenwick;
with Alister Mathews, Bournemouth, from whom purchased in March 1955

Catalogue Note

This can be associated with other fragmentary drawings of heads and limbs which are by Michelangelo and his pupils and which bear the same red ink numbering.  The provenance of the Martelli family and Ottley was identified by Nicholas Turner and Paul Joannides when they published a group of related drawings, now in the Prado. Others were sold in these Rooms, 9 July 2008, lots 84 and 85, while another profile like this one, and certainly by the same hand, bearing the Martelli number 32, was sold in these Rooms, 11 June 1981, lot 239.  Turner and Joannides recognised two of the Prado drawings as works of Michelangelo himself, but the others must be by the occasional students he had, including Antonio Mini or Andrea Quaratesi.

Ralph Holland's notes record that A.E. Popham told him the drawing belonged to Sir Thomas Phillipps and then his grandson, T. Fitzroy Fenwick.  Most of that collection went to the British Museum, but a part was sold in the 1940s to the London book dealer, Lionel Robinson.  It is plausible that Popham, who catalogued the whole collection for Fenwick2, recognised this study.

1.  N. Turner and P. Joannides, 'Some Drawings by Michelangelo and his circle in the Prado,' Boletin del Museo del Prado, vol. XXI, no. 39, 2003, pp. 8-23
2.  A.E. Popham, Catalogue of Drawings in the Collection formed by Sir Thomas Phillipps..., London 1935