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Red chalk; squared in red chalk (left half), framing lines in red chalk
Support: Beige(1) laid paper
Sheet: 27.8 x 35.3 cm (10 15/16 x 13 7/8 in.)
Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1989.45.a
In 1590, a generation after Michelangelo’s death, the dome he designed for Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome was finally completed. In 1597 Pope Clement VIII commissioned the mosaic decoration of the interior of the dome, choosing Cristoforo Roncalli in part because of his training in Florence, an origin he shared with Michelangelo. Roncalli made this preparatory drawing for the angels that would appear at each side of the four Evangelists in the trapezoidal spaces where the dome meets the supporting arches, called pendentives. Roncalli practiced rendering the foreshortened human form in three studies across the sheet, which are early stages of the design.
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