About this artwork

Raphael's exquisite drawings reveal his meticulous preparation for the compositions he painted. Traditionally, young male assistants were used by Renaissance artists to model female figures, a practice Raphael followed in his early work. In Rome, however, he was one of the first to use female models for life drawing, as here. He also realised the potential of the new medium of red chalk for descriptive outlines and subtle modelling. This study and the smaller sketches next to it are connected with frescoes of Cupid and Psyche Raphael planned in 1518 for the villa beside the river Tiber of the wealthy banker Agostino Chigi.

  • title:
    A Kneeling Nude Woman with her Left Arm Raised
  • accession number:
    D 5145
  • artist:
  • gallery:
  • object type:
  • subject:
  • materials:
    Red chalk, with touches of black chalk, over stylus underdrawing on off-white paper
  • date created:
    About 1518
  • measurements:
    27.90 x 18.70 cm
  • credit line:
    Purchased by Private Treaty with the aid of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Pilgrim Trust 1987

Raphael (Raffaello Santi)

Raphael (Raffaello Santi)