8. Baccio Bandinelli

Florence 1488/93 – 1560 Florence

Bust-Portrait of a Young Woman, Looking Down. Verso: Portrait of the Same Model, Looking over her Right Shoulder

This drawing was executed by Baccio Bandinelli, a Flor­entine sculptor and goldsmith, follower of Michelangelo. Always attentive to the distribution of light and shade, he used red chalk with care, drawing clear contours and un­folding a tight network of fine, parallel hatchings. The features of the young woman (wavy hair, large eyes and a somewhat heavy chin and neck), depicted on both sides of the sheet, can be recognised in a number of other simi­lar drawings by the artist. These studies can seldom be connected to any sculpture or painting by Bandinelli; they were probably produced for themselves, as exercises in virtuosità, to practise a successful effect or to train the hand and eye. In these drawings, the view point, the po­sition of the head, the orientation of the gaze, even the expression differ: this variation in repetition allows the draughtsman endless scope with his experiments.