About this artwork

Both sides of this drawing show Michelangelo’s Head of Giuliano de’ Medici, although they represent it from slightly different angles. Michelangelo’s sculpture (the original is in Florence) was famous at the time. Domenico is likely to have known it through two copies in his father’s workshop which were used as teaching models. Jacopo Tintoretto strongly encouraged his pupils to make detailed copies after antique sculpture and the work of Michelangelo, and he would have them draw the objects from different angles and under different lighting conditions. In this sheet, Domenico may have drawn the sculpture by candle light, which would have generated the strong contrasts between light and dark and allowed him to experiment with bold chiaroscuro.

Updated before 2020

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