UNKNOWN MASTER, Italian
(active mid-15th century in Florence)
Study of a Standing Male Nude Leaning on a Staff1450s
Brush and gray wash, heightened with white gouache on faded blue paper, 211 x 110 mm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
By the mid-fifteenth century it had become standard workshop practice in Florence to work from posed models; for the most part they were young, male studio assistants (garzoni), although studies of females are also occasionally encountered. Those drawings that survived are either in pen and ink with brown wash on white paper and have a predominantly linear quality, or are in the more pictorial technique of brown or gray wash heightened with white gouache on blue paper.
The author of the present drawing is not identified, the names of Paolo Uccello, Luca della Robbia and Domenico Veneziano were proposed in the literature by various scholars.