3. Mariotto Albertinelli

Florence 1474 – 1515 Florence

Eight Studies of Naked Children

Formerly attributed to Fra Bartolommeo, this drawing is now given to Mariotto Albertinelli, his collaborator. This Florentine artist of the High Renaissance covered both sides of the sheet with figures – mainly children – in a va­riety of positions. Some of the postures are reminiscent of those adopted by the infant Christ in Albertinelli’s paint­ings, although none of them corresponds identically. In spite of the vivacity of the line and the touching nature of the sketches, these small studies do not appear to have been drawn from living models: the poses appear unnatu­ral, and the rendering of the hands and heads remains schematic. Albertinelli may have been working from memory or, more probably, drawing from models in plas­ter or wax which he could study at leisure in the work­shop – as Fra Bartolommeo was also in the habit of doing.