11. Anonymous Italian, end of the 16th century

Allegory of Charity (?)

The iconography and the attribution of this remarkable drawing remain uncertain. Attributed to Francesco Salviati when it was acquired, it was also linked to the School of Fontainebleau: the elegant stance and the Man­nerist style of the figure – probably an allegory of Chari­ty – do in fact evoke the art of Primaticcio and his circle. The sculptural treatment of the forms, in particular the drapery, and the sketched plinth seem to suggest this sheet was preparatory for a statue or a painted decoration imitating a statue. The head and the right foot, unclear in the first study, are detailed in a larger scale on the right. Nevertheless, the artist was convinced by the general ap­pearance of his figure: he squared it over to allow it to be transferred to another support.