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A man seen from behind (verso)
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A man seen from behind (verso)

Circa 1481-85

Pinturicchio (Bernardino di Betto) (c.1454-1513)

Metalpoint (silverpoint?), pen and brush and brown ink with white bodycolour, on grey prepared laid paper

Height: 21.8 cm; Width: 13.9 cm;

Acquisition (source, method, date)
Seilern, Antoine (Count); bequest; 1978

About this work
Pinturicchio’s Flying Angel derives from the Assumption of the Virgin which his teacher, Perugino, painted in the Sistine Chapel (it was later replaced by Michelangelo’s Last Judgment). Pinturicchio may have worked on that commission. However, this drawing is not a preparatory sketch for the project but a record of Perugino’s figure. The sheet’s exceptional finesse and delicate details celebrate the skill of its maker, Pinturicchio, as well as the original invention.


In the fifteenth century, painters learned their trade by imitating the work of earlier masters. This figure is copied from another painting by Perugino in the Sistine Chapel: the Baptism of Christ. The technique and materials are almost identical to those of the Flying Angel on the other side of this sheet. However the draughtsman has not fully understood his source. Certain elements of the drawing, such as the man’s right sleeve and shoulder, are unresolved. (Permanent collection label)

Copyright: © The Samuel Courtauld Trust, The Courtauld Gallery, London

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