(Milan c.1530 - Milan 1593)
Sheet of Studies of Lower Torsos and Legs, Arms and a Shoulder
A faint study of a torso and legs drawn in pen and brown ink on the verso.
248 x 171 mm. (9 3/4 x 6 3/4 in.)
The present sheet is highly characteristic of Luini’s style as a draughtsman and, both in subject and in composition, reveals the particular influence of Leonardo’s anatomical studies, which the artist would certainly have known. (According to a contemporary biographer, Luini owned a large drawn cartoon of The Holy Family with Saint Anne as well as a group of about fifty drawings - apparently mainly caricatures and grotesque heads - by Leonardo, to which Luini seems to have turned for inspiration in producing his own small-scale drawn studies of teste caricate.) As Lucia Tantardini has noted of Luini’s abiding interest in Leonardo’s drawings, ‘Aurelio’s intellectual, yet original, approach to the great Florentine makes him one of the late sixteenth-century Italian artists who most acutely attempted to grasp the range of Leonardo’s draughtsmanship.’
Stylistically comparable drawings by Aurelio Luini include a sheet of studies of legs, arms, a torso and a head in profile at Christ Church in Oxford and a study of Neptune in the British Museum in London.
Aurelio Luini was a talented draughtsman, and the only one of the three Luini brothers to have a recognizable drawing style. One contemporary source, writing two years after Aurelio’s death, noted of him that ‘Il Louino fù gran disegnatore, & acurato pittore, e versato in molte altre honorate virtù, il che universalmete era amato da tutti, e nella pittura fù vero imitatore del padre.’ He tended to work in pen and ink, sometimes with wash on blue paper, with a confident and nervous manner. Drawings by Luini are fairly rare, and only some two hundred are known.
Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 21 January 2003, lot 71.