Grand and impressive, this large sheet is one of a number of studies of male nudes by Cecco Bravo that have survived. Some are executed in black chalk, others in red chalk, sometimes heightened with white, and in a combination of red and black chalk which the artist used to such effect in his compositional drawings. There are two major holdings of these academies: the National Gallery of Scotland and the Uffizi.1
The present study accords well with those examples, both in technique and in the presence of the pen and ink numbering. Many of the nudes, like the present figure, have been given wings and are thought to be connected with Cecco's lost fresco of the Fall of the Rebel Angels
, painted circa
1648 in SS. Michele e Gaetano, Florence.
1. K. Andrews, National Gallery of Scotland, Catalogue of Italian Drawings, Cambridge 1968, vol. I, pp. 75-77., nos. D1956-72, vol. II, figs 527-43 and A. R. Masetti, Cecco Bravo, Venice 1962, nos. 81-104