Domenico Beccafumi was intensely aware of the work of his contemporary Michelangelo when he developed his own style for projects in Siena, south of Florence. This drawing is a study for a chiaroscuro print, a type of woodblock print using several blocks, some colored, to create light and shadow. The drawing features three male nudes whose roles are unknown. The closest figure, reclining with his back toward the viewer, recalls ancient sculptures of river gods as well as works by Michelangelo, including the reclining figures he sculpted for the Medici tombs in Florence.

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  • Title: Three Male Nudes
  • Creator: Domenico Beccafumi (Italian, 1486-1551)
  • Date Created: c. 1540-47
  • Physical Dimensions: Sheet: 23.2 x 41.7 cm (9 1/8 x 16 7/16 in.); Secondary Support: 23.2 x 41.9 cm (9 1/8 x 16 1/2 in.); Tertiary Support: 24.8 x 42.7 cm (9 3/4 x 16 13/16 in.)
  • Provenance: The Earl of Pembroke and Montgomery; [his sale, Sotheby's, London, 10 July 1917, lot 511 (lot included Madonna Ascending to Heaven by Simone Cantarini; sold to Moore according to Cleveland 1979)]; Archibald George Blomefield Russel (Lugt 2770a, lower center, in black ink); [his sale, Sotheby's, London, 9 June 1955, lot 1 (repr.)]; A. Scharf, London (according to Cleveland 1979).
  • Type: Drawing
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1958.313
  • Medium: black chalk or charcoal with brush and black chalk or charcoal wash, heightened with white gouache; incised
  • Inscriptions: tertiary support, along bottom, in brown ink: Becco Fumi, il Mecarino da Siena. 1404-1549 Domenico Beccafumi; lower right, in brown ink: from vol 1.st P. [1?]2.
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Italy, 16th century
  • Credit Line: Delia E. Holden Fund
  • Collection: DR - Italian
  • Accession Number: 1958.313

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