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Two nude youths carrying a young woman and a young man

Luca Signorelli1490 - 1495

Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Italian Renaissance artist Luca Signorelli was noted in particular for his skills as a draughtsman and for his eagerness to draw the human body after life models. Also this drawing shows an extremely accurate and vivid depiction of the anatomy which is carefully modelled by light and shadow to a degree of seeming three-dimensionality that makes the bodies almost leap off the sheet. Executed in black chalk and touched up with white heightening and water-colour this extraordinary large drawing depicts two male nudes in exaggerated contrapposto poses each supporting a second figure on its shoulders. Maybe the nude studies are just two views of one figure, one view from the front and the other from the back, as a demonstration of the artist´s skill and ability to imagine the whole full round figure while drawing it. Remarkably highly finished, this drawing seems to have been intended as a semi-pictorial composition in contrast to the rapid improvised quality of more sketch-like drawn studies. The heroic male nude was the focus of much artistic interest in late fifteenth-century Florence and drawings like this permitted to Renaissance artists to study the proportions and movements of the human body, which led to a greater naturalism and fluency in their paintings. While this study of nudes breathes clearly allegorical or mythological references its ultimate meaning remains enigmatic.

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  • Title: Two nude youths carrying a young woman and a young man
  • Creator: Luca Signorelli
  • Date: 1490 - 1495
  • Physical Dimensions: w27.8 x h35.4 cm
  • Type: Drawing
  • Medium: Black and red chalk, brown and grey ink on yellow to brown prepared paper, heightened with white
  • Inv.-No.: KdZ 5091
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018511
  • External Link: Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyright: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Jörg P. Anders │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Dagmar Korbacher
  • Collection: Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Artist Place of Death: Cortona, Italy
  • Artist Place of Birth: Cortona, Italy
  • Artist Gender: Male
  • Artist Dates: 1445 - 1523.10.16

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