31. Attributed to Rosso Fiorentino

Florence 1494 – 1541 Fontainebleau

Study of a Male Nude, Half Length, and Study of his Hand

The morphology of this man’s body, emaciated and with hollow eyes, bears certain similarities to figures by Rosso Fiorentino, one of the first Mannerist artists in Florence. Nevertheless, the attribution of this sheet to Rosso is contested by some specialists. The emaciated appearance of the figure could also be explained by its being a prepara­tory study for a St Jerome, as indicated by the hand hold­ing a stone with which the hermit struck his chest as a sign of penance. The separate, enlarged treatment of this detail at the bottom of the sheet provides an opportunity for the artist to depict with greater precision the gesture that embodies the identity of this character.