22. Annibale Carracci

Bologna 1560 – 1609 Rome

Study of the Torso of a Man, Seated towards Right

This drawing is a fine example of the nude studies execut­ed from life by Annibale Carracci which demonstrate his interest in the human form. Working as closely as possi­ble to his model, Carracci deals with stark reality, observ­ing the man’s anatomy with great attention and rendering it faithfully. He focuses here on the modelling of the pow­erful musculature of the torso, outlined against a back­ground vigorously shaded in red chalk. This sheet is typ­ical of the “return to nature” advocated by the Bolognese artist. Constant reference to reality, enabled by the prac­tice of life drawing from the model, allowed him to free himself from the preconceived ideas and complacent for­mulae inherited from figurative traditions.