Title: Male Figure Study with Studies of Hands (Study for the Stoning of St. Stephen)
Red chalk on prepared paper
Dimensions: Image: 16 1/8 x 10 1/2 inches (41 x 26.7 cm)
Gift of Helen-Mae and Seymour R. Askin, Jr., Class of 1947
Corrado Giaquinto was one of the most successful painters of the Rococo style in Rome, where it came to renown during the 1740s. This vigorous drawing is an excellent reminder that Giaquinto’s elegant forms and lively palette were still founded on a tradition of rigorous figure study.
The present figure, with modifications, appears in Giaquinto’s lost painting of Rebecca at the Well (preserved via a copy in the Museum of Fine Arts, Tours), as a shepherd with a staff. The figure also appears as a man casting a stone in a Roman oil sketch of The Stoning of St. Stephen in a private collection, datable ca. 1748–50. Close looking reveals that a stone has been erased from the right hand, and the shaft of a staff assigned to hands not posed to receive it. This indicates perhaps that the studies of the hands holding a staff at left are later refinements to adapt the thrower as a shepherd, an efficient repurposing of a compelling study. (“Undressed: The Nude in Context, 1500-1750,” text by Andrew C. Weislogel and presented at the Johnson Museum February 9-June 16, 2019)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.