32. Jacopo Chimenti, called Jacopo da Empoli

Florence circa 1554 – 1640 Florence

Study of a Young Man and Study of his Hand, circa 1614

This is a preparatory drawing for the figure of St Eligius in the Integrity of St Eligius (circa 1614, Uffizi, Florence). Legend has it that the goldsmith Eligius was accused of theft; he proved his innocence by making two silver thrones for King Clotaire for the price of one. In this study, the figure, pose and costume correspond very closely to those in the painting. It was probably one of the final stages in Empoli’s preparatory work and follows another drawing by the Florentine artist for the same character (Uffizi, Florence). In both sheets, Empoli used accessories that were available in his workshop – a chair, a table – in order to lay out the elements of his future composition and fix the pose of the model. As was his habit, he reworked certain details until they were perfect: although partly concealed by the back of the throne, Eligius’s right is hand is sketched in detail at the lower right of our study.