The distinctive combination of media seen here - subtly applied red chalk heightened with white chalk, on paper washed pink - is typical of Tanzio and of his sophisticated and highly personal style, which was clearly influenced by the Florentine tradition brought to Milan by Leonardo. Bareggi and Ferro have related the majority of the sheets from this series to Tanzio's late works. In 2009, Ferro suggested that the present study might be connected with the figure of a shepherd who appears, in reverse to the drawing, in Tanzio's 1632 fresco decoration of the apse of Santa Maria della Pace, Milan (fig. 1). We are grateful to Edoardo Testori for confirming that he considers this a late drawing by the artist, and related to this figure of a shepherd. A red chalk preparatory study for the central figure group in the fresco is in a private collection.1
1. See Tanzio da Varallo, exhib. cat., Milan, Palazzo Reale, p. 148, reproduced p. 145
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