Reclining Male NudeEnlarge image

Reclining Male Nude, c. 1530-1540

Jacopo Pontormo
Italian, 1494 - 1557
black chalk on ivory laid paper
25.1 x 38.3 cm
Purchased 2004
National Gallery of Canada (no. 41370r)

Catalogued in the famous collection of Sir Thomas Lawrence as Michelangelo’s study for the sleeping Adam in the "Creation of Eve" on the Sistine chapel ceiling, this sketch of a male nude passed as a Michelangelo original for at least two centuries. However, this sheet can be attributed on stylistic grounds to Jacopo da Pontormo, a younger Florentine closely influenced by him. The rather soft, exploratory handling of the black chalk and the elongated, almost segmented treatment of the human form can be paralleled with other secure Pontormo drawings. The figure may represent a captive soldier.


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