1. Federico Barocci

Urbino circa 1526/35 – 1612 Urbino

Head of a Bearded Man, Inclined to Left, and Study of his Hand, 1590’s

Throughout his life, Federico Barocci followed a long and meticulous process to prepare his paintings, as described by the biographer of Italian artists Bellori. With some 1,500 to 2,000 sheets preserved, Barocci was one of the most prolific and inventive draughtsmen in the history of Italian art. From compositional sketches, studies of light and the balance of colours, figure studies from life or from wax models, to cartoons in reduced form or to scale: he produced many preliminary drawings. This sheet be­longs to the group of arie di teste for which Barocci was admired. It is preparatory for the figure of a servant in The Last Supper in the Duomo, Urbino. Here, Barocci, dis­plays his maestria, running his hand over the paper with great ease. He constructed his drawing by using line and, great Renaissance colourist that he was, conveyed emo­tion through light and colour.