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Four Kneeling FiguresEnlarge image

Four Kneeling Figures, c. 1600

Luigi (called Alvise dal Friso) Benfatto, Attributed to
Italian, 1544 - 1609
pen and brown ink on laid paper, laid down on laid paper ?, laid down on laid paper
7.3 x 13.8 cm irregular
Purchased 1949
National Gallery of Canada (no. 5731.2)

These three fragments of larger sheets were drawn by a member of Paolo Veronese’s workshop, likely Alvise dal Friso, Paolo’s nephew. The type of drawing displayed here is one developed by Paolo - a mode of visual creative thinking that formed the starting point of paintings. Ideas developed in this way would have been worked up into more defined studies, like the drawing to the right, which would then have been transferred to the surface of paintings through different means. The fact that this method of visual problem-solving was used by Paolo’s assistants and employed by them in their independent careers is a testament to how productive a method it was, as well as how collaborative the workshop seems to have been.

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