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Underdrawing in Paintings

Following a preliminary survey on the importance of incorporating infrared reflectography into a typical art historical method of studying paintings in relationship to their preparatory drawings on paper, the authors present three case studies that illustrate in depth their statement, in chronological order. The first case study examines Giotto and traces the inclusive use of templates in his artistic production, not only on mural paintings (as already known), but also on panel paintings. The second case study examines the careful and scrupulous use of a cartoon by Sebastiano dal Piombo, in the underdrawing phase of his masterpiece, the Pietà in Viterbo. According to Vasari's account, Michelangelo passed a cartoon that he himself drew to Sebastiano. The IR reflectography proves the existence of a cartoon, but also shows an exact correspondence to some sketches by Michelangelo, obviously enlarged for use on the panel. The third case pertains to a more modern artist, Francesco Hayez (1791–1882), the leading painter of Romanticism in mid-19th century Italy. A consistent group of sketches, preliminary to a painting representing Samson and the Lion, were grouped, studied in sequence, then compared to a display-cartoon and finally to the IR reflectography of the painting.

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14 Aug 2014
Copyright year
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