(b. ca. 1530, Luino, d. 1593, Milano)
Sheet of Studies of Figures and Heads-
Pen and traces of black pencil on white paper, 228 x 150 mm
Fondazione d'Arco, Mantua
Aurelio Luini joined with Giovan Paolo Lomazzo and other artists to found the satirical Accademia della Val di Blenio in 1560. The common interest in an anticlassical, anti-Mannerist style shared by the artists of the academy led them to seek a powerful naturalistic immediacy in their paintings. Perhaps before anyone else, Aurelio Luini returned to the rich corpus of Leonardesque drawings to restudy anatomy. Luini also revived two practices strongly favoured by Leonardo himself, drawing from life and using a variety of models.
The picture shows one of Luini's studies, a series of heads of children, youths, and old people, both male and female. All are represented with extreme vivacity and freshness from several viewpoints.