Agostino spent the last two years of his life in Parma, probably at the invitation of Odoardo Farnese, who commissioned from him the frescoes in the Palazzo del Giardino. The artist had already travelled to Parma in the 1580s, but this later visit seemed to reawaken in him an appreciation of the works of the Emilian mannerists. Elongated torsos, limbs, and others parallels with the work of Parmigianino are clear in many of the preparatory drawings of Agostino's late years. This drawing, like lot 314, relates stylistically to a series of pen and ink studies executed by Agostino in preparation for his famous last print, the Saint Jerome of circa 1602.1 The handling and technique of the present nude is also very close to the studies related to the frescoes for Palazzo del Giardino, executed between 1600 and 1602, such as the Figure Studies for the story of Peleus and Thetis, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.2
Especially bold and vigorous in its execution, this handsome sheet exemplifies Agostino's reassured handling of the pen and ink, when late in life he was still constantly reinventing and developing his graphic style.
1. D. DeGrazia Bohlin, Prints and Related Drawings by the Carracci Family: A catalogue Raisonné, exhib. cat., Washington, National Gallery of Art, 1979, no. 213, pp. 346-351, reproduced
2. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, inv. no. 1972.133.1; reproduced, J. Bean, 17th Century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 1979, no. 93, fig. 93 recto
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