Lot 308
  • 308

CIRCLE OF RAPHAEL | Head of a female muse

6,000 - 8,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Raphael
  • Head of a female muse
  • Red chalk, heightened with white;bears old inscription in brown ink, lower right: Scuola Fiorentina
  • 207 by 160 mm


Private Collection, U.S.A.

Catalogue Note

This delicate red chalk drawing is a rare period copy of a highly important head study by Raphael, today housed in the collection of the Fondazione Horne, Florence.1 The female figure depicted appears immediately to the right of Apollo, in Raphael's Parnassus, (Fig.1, detail) one of the artist's monumental frescoes executed for Pope Julius II in the Stanza della Segnatura, circa 1509-11. While the present sheet is fractionally smaller than the Fondazione Horne drawing, and executed in red, rather than black chalk, the proximity of mark making is so close between the two that it seems plausible that the artist responsible for the present work had access to Raphael's original drawing.

Raphael's two most talented assistants during this period of his career were Giulio Romano and Gianfrancesco Penni, both of whom established significant reputations of their own, following Raphael's untimely death in 1520. Whilst the name of Giulio has historically been associated with this drawing, there are few chalk drawings by him from this early period in his career, with which to make a meaningful comparison.

1. E. Knab, E. Mitsch and K. Oberhuber, Raphael, I Disegni, Florence 1983, p. 615, no. 379, fig. 379, reproduced