BetaThis search tool is in development. Find out more.
Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.
Pictures

Two men studying a corpse by the light of a candle stuck in its chest. Etching after a drawing attributed to Polidoro Caldara (Polidoro da Caravaggio).

Polidoro, da Caravaggio, approximately 1495-approximately 1543.

Available online

view Two men studying a corpse by the light of a candle stuck in its chest. Etching after a drawing attributed to Polidoro Caldara (Polidoro da Caravaggio).
Download options

License

Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.
Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0
Credit: Two men studying a corpse by the light of a candle stuck in its chest. Etching after a drawing attributed to Polidoro Caldara (Polidoro da Caravaggio). Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Selected images from this work


About this work

Description

Traditionally, this drawing has been considered to represent Michelangelo studying anatomy. It has been associated with Mariette's description of one of two drawings in Crozat's collection representing "Michel-Ange occupé à faire des dissections". While it was in Woodburn's collection it was described as Michelangelo and the anatomist Marcantonio della Torre dissecting a cadaver. It is unlikely that Michelangelo and della Torre knew each other, and it might be a confusion for Vasari's description of Leonardo da Vinci's collaboration with the anatomist. The kneeling figure on the left holds a compass in his right hand and the seated figure on the right indicating the abdomen, also seems to have a measuring instrument which rests against his left arm. In the original drawing, lines emanating from the candle's flame to the two figures have been incised

Physical description

1 print : etching ; image 15.8 x 24.5 cm

Publications note

K. T. Parker, Catalogue of the collection of drawings in the Ashmolean Museum, vol. ii: Italian Schools, Oxford 1956, no. 480, p. 239
P. J. Mariette, Description des desseins...du Cabinet Crozat, 1741, p. 3, no. 18
E. Holländer, Die medizin in der Klassichen Malerei, 3rd ed., 1923, p. 20
J. C. Robinson, A critical account of the drawings by Michel Angelo and Raffaello in the University Galleries, Oxford. Oxford 1870, no. 50
A. Marabottini, Polidoro da Caravaggio, 2 vols, 1969, i, p. 315, no. 69; ii, pl. lxxxviii, 2
G. Wolf-Heidegger and A. M. Cetto, Die anatomische Sektion in bildlicher Darstellung, Basel and New York 1967, no. 246
H. Macandrew, Catalogue of the collection of drawings in the Ashmolean Museum, vol. iii: Italian schools: supplement, Oxford 1980, p. 273

Reference

Wellcome Library no. 24713i

Reproduction note

After a pen and ink drawing in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. In the drawings collection of the painter, Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1820), it was considered to be by Michelangelo. While this attribution has been rejected, there has been no lasting consensus as to the identity of the artist responsible for the drawing. It has been linked with the name of Bartolomeo Manfredi and, more lastingly, to Polidoro Caldara (Polidoro da Caravaggio). The Sienese artist, Bernardino Capitelli, has also been suggested as a possibility

Type/Technique




Permanent link


We’re improving the information on this page. Find out more.