Although we are not aware of any similar drawings in the small corpus of works on paper attributed to the Ferrarese artist Giovanni Luteri, known as Dosso Dossi (circa 1489-1542), comparisons of style and subject can plausibly be made between this enigmatic and powerful drawing and a group of five paintings by Dosso, probably once part of a single cycle, representing allegorical figures of Geometry and Astronomy.1 These imposing, solitary figures are set against bare landscapes or empty voids, backgrounds which serve as an effective counterbalance to the extremely mannered poses. The dating and subjects of these paintings have been debated by scholars since the 1960s, but they are generally placed somewhere between the 1520s and the 1540s. The figures show a very clear debt to Michelangelo in their grandiose and balanced compositions, and powerful foreshortening.
1. See From Borso to Cesare d'Este. The School of Ferrara, 1450-1628, exhib. cat., London, Matthiessen Fine Art, 1984, pp. 89- 90, nos 41 (a,b,c), reproduced pls. 41-42; A. Ballarin, Dosso Dossi, Padua 1995, vol. I, pp. 323-324, nos. 406-410, reproduced vol. II, figs. 579, 584, 592, 599, 606
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