Jacopo Tintoretto, A nude man flying

c. 1560-90

British Museum

British Museum

This drawing displays Tintoretto’s ease with notational marks, giving a general idea of a figure rather than describing it exhaustively, while conveying maximum information. Perpendicular marks (such as on the left arm and right leg) act like contour lines, illustrating the figure’s volume and its extreme foreshortening. Tintoretto was renowned for speedy draughtsmanship and his biographer, Ridolfi, recorded how the Italian mocked two young Flemish artists who had spent days over their careful drawings by dashing off a composition ‘with a few strokes’. [Carlo Ridolfi, ‘The Life of Tintoretto’ (1642), ed. and trans. Catherine Enggass and Robert Enggass (University Park, PA Pennsylvania State University Press, 1984), p. 72.]

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  • Title: Jacopo Tintoretto, A nude man flying
  • Date Created: c. 1560-90
  • Physical Dimensions: 308 x 201 mm
  • Medium: Charcoal
  • British Museum link: Collection online


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