Saint Francis (recto); Dead Christ (verso) (Verso: Dead Christ)


The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

The figure of Saint Francis kneels with his hands clasped in prayer, wearing a hooded cassock. Soft lines of parallel hatching as well as smudging give texture and depth to the image, which contains few details. Pontormo used this sketch in preparation for painting the saint in an altarpiece. He drew Saint Francis over a partially obliterated standing man with a staff in his left hand, posed frontally with his head tilted to the left.

Pontormo also conserved paper on the verso, drawing a powerful image of the dead Christ with his head thrown dramatically backward, over a female figure in profile. With a flurry of pencil strokes, he suggested an emaciated body with slender limbs and taut flesh. The right margin of the drawing also contains fragmentary sketches, perhaps of drapery, indicating that the sheet used to be larger and had further drawings on it.


  • Title: Saint Francis (recto); Dead Christ (verso) (Verso: Dead Christ)
  • Creator: Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci)
  • Date Created: about 1517–1518
  • Physical Dimensions: 40.5 × 28.4 cm (15 15/16 × 11 3/16 in.)
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Black chalk (recto); black chalk with some white chalk heightening (verso)
  • Terms of Use: Open Content
  • Number: 83.GG.379
  • Culture: Italian
  • Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Creator Display Name: Pontormo (Jacopo Carucci) (Italian (Florentine), 1494 - 1557)
  • Classification: Drawings (Visual Works)

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