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Seated prophet or evangelist
Bandinelli, Baccio
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Bandinelli, Baccio

Florence, 1493 - Florence, 1560

Bandinelli, Baccio See author's file

Seated prophet or evangelist

1536 - 1540. Red chalk on paper.
Not on display

Although the style of drawing is characteristic of Bandinelli, the majestic pose indeed echoes figures by Michelangelo on the Sistine ceiling, which he painted in 1508-1512. While the noble head and copious drapery recall the Prophets, the placement of the muscular body is more suggestive of the youthful ignudi.

Michelangelo´s work also springs to mind in the handling of the red chalk in the present study. This was the artist´s favorite medium for his studies from the nude for figures in the Sistine ceiling, and they are strongly sculptural in feeling, as if the artist´s over-riding preoccupation was to project a sensation of a figure in the round-an effect he achieved by contrasting well-defined passages of shading with areas of untouched paper functioning as the highlights. Bandinelli was clearly greatly influenced by Michelangelo´s procedure.

The identity of the seated figure remains unclear. The mantle that swathes the lower part of the body leaves the genitals uncovered, a profanity that would seem to contradict the identification as a Prophet or Evangelist, for, by the conventions of the day, nudity was generally considered inappropriate for the representation of sacred personages. Nevertheless, there are many instances in the oeuvre of both Michelangelo and Bandinelli of sacred personages appearing nude, or only partly draped. Examples include Michelangelo´s marble statue of David (Accademia, Florence), as well many of the figures in his Last Judgement, the offending parts of which were covered up shortly after Michelangelo´s death to make them decent. Contemporary rules of decorum seem to have been applied less strictly to sculpture, probably out of deference to the ancient precedent of showing a sculpted figure, nude.

The figure is seated on a pedestal. In the lower right corner, Bandinelli has analyzed the moulding of the base in two diagrammatic sections, showing alternatives for its profile. In another drawing by Bandinelli of a Seated Prophet or Evangelist, this time in the British Museum, London, in pen and ink, what is clearly an equivalent figure is also seen seated on a base, holding a book or tablet to one side and with one foot resting on a block, likewise with alternatives for the profile of the base sketched in quickly in the same way (inv. no. 1895-9-15-551; London, 1986, no. 93). This and the British Museum drawing may be connected with an early phase in Bandinelli´s work on the tombs of Leo X and Clement VII in S. Maria sopra Minerva in Rome, a project on which the artist was at work in 1536-1540 (Text drawn from Turner, N.: From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International-Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 64).

Technical data

Inventory number
Bandinelli, Baccio
Seated prophet or evangelist
1536 - 1540
Red chalk
Height: 369 mm; Width: 275 mm
Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931

Bibliography +

Monbeig-Goguel, Catherine, Il Manierismo Fiorentino, Fratelli Fabbri, Milán, 1970, pp. 88 / lám. 5.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., I Grandi Disegni Italiani Nelle Collezioni Di Madrid, Silvana Editoriale D'Arte, Milán, 1978, pp. 42.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de dibujos. Dibujos italianos del siglo XVI (por Nicholas Turner, con la colaboración de José Manuel Matilla), V, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 64, 211.

Turner, Nicholas, From Michelangelo to Annibale Carracci. A century of Italian drawings from the Prado, Art Services International, Chicago, 2008, pp. 64,211.

Turner, N., Baccio Bandinelli 'Seated prophet or evangelist' En:, Italian masterpieces from Spain's royal court, Museo del Prado, National Gallery of Victoria Thames & Hudson, 2014, pp. 60.

Other inventories +

Inv. Legado Pedro Fernández Durán, 1931. Núm. 1892.

Exhibitions +

Italian Masterpieces from Spain's Royal Court. Museo Nacional del Prado
16.05.2014 - 31.08.2014

De Miguel Ángel a Annibale Carracci. Un siglo de Dibujos Italianos en el Museo del Prado
25.10.2008 - 26.07.2009

Un siglo de dibujos italianos en el Museo del Prado. De Miguel Ángel a Annibale Carracci
23.11.2004 - 13.02.2005

Update date: 04-11-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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