(b. 1494, Pontormo, d. 1557, Firenze)

Kicking Player

Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

The theme of the nude figure depicted anatomically and characterized by particular twists of the body, which forms the leitmotif of Michelangelo's figurative research, Pontormo addressed and reinterpreted in an entirely personal way in a series of extraordinary designs preparatory to cartoons which the artist executed from the beginning of the 1530s for the decoration of various rooms in the Florentine Medicean villas. For the villa of Poggio a Caiano, where the painter had already executed the fresco Vertumnus and Pomona, the artist prepared various cartoons among them one depicting a scene of ignudi playing football. Of the preparatory designs for the cartoon, the only surviving traces are the so-called Kicking Player, associated with the drawing of Titius which Michelangelo executed towards the end of 1532, and the remarkable red-ochre drawing with Two Nudes Compared.