26. Annibale Carracci

Bologna 1560 – 1609 Rome

Studies of Legs, circa 1595-1596

The studies on this sheet are all linked to the allegory of the Vices in Hercules at the Crossroads, a major painting by Annibale Carracci for the ceiling of the Camerino in Pala­zzo Farnese in Rome (now in the Museo di Capodimonte, Naples). Based on the observation of a live model, Carrac­ci captures the shapely volume of these legs and the ele­gant movement of the female figure in the painting. The position of the leg on the right of the page is closest to the painted version. Here the artist has been able to rectify, among other things, the position of the inner ankle bone in relation to the first drawing: the heavy, double outline is evidence of the efforts he made to get it right.