Study for the Head of Saint Anne

Ambito di Giulio Romano

Sixteenth century

Black pencil and charcoal on beige paper, 288 x 208mm

Inv. 1122

The Galleria Estense, Modena

Mentioned for the first time in the 1640 ‘Catalogo dei quadri e dei disegni dello studio Coccapani’ as Raphael’s work, it was attributed to Giulio Romano in 1882 by Adolfo Venturi. Some slight variations aside, the face shares numerous stylistic and formal attributes with the head of St. Anne in La Perla, the famous painting attributed to Giulio Romano held at the Prado Museum in Madrid. Critics agree that the painting (depicting the Madonna, St. Anne, the Christ Child and a young John the Baptist) was developed from a Raphael prototype, taken up and completed by his pupil. Considering its formal quality and the immediacy of its execution, this drawing appears to be a copy of the original prepared in Raphael’s workshop.