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Woman kneeling in prayer, seen from behind (study for the figure of St Catherine)

Fra Bartolomeo1511

Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

This drawing was created as a preliminary study for the figure of St Catherine at the left in the foreground of the painting of the Sacra Conversazione [or Mystic Marriage] in the Musée du Louvre (Paris). Here, the artist experimented with effects of light and shadow for the individual draped figures before incorporating them into the overall composition.
The drawing was then squared in black in order to facilitate its enlargement and transfer to the panel. The subtle white highlights and dark passages testify to a careful study of effects of light and volume. Vasari directly praises this quality in Fra Bartolomeo’s work: he ‘understood how to create depth and to bring the figures into relief by using dark shadows’. Working with the greyish brown paper, the artist was permitted to model both in light and dark.

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Details

  • Title: Woman kneeling in prayer, seen from behind (study for the figure of St Catherine)
  • Creator: Fra Bartolomeo
  • Date: 1511
  • Physical Dimensions: w25.2 x h33.3 cm
  • Type: Paper
  • Medium: Black and white chalk on greyish brown paper, squared in black.
  • Inv.-No.: KdZ 5079
  • ISIL no.: DE-MUS-018511
  • External Link: Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
  • Copyright: Photo © bpk - Photo Agency / Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Volker Schneider │ Text © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz / Dagmar Korbacher
  • Collection: Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin - Preußischer Kulturbesitz
  • Artist Place of Death: Florence, Italy
  • Artist Place of Birth: Florence, Italy
  • Artist Gender: Male
  • Artist Dates: 1472.03.18 - 1517.10.31

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