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.
Selected images from this work
About this work
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