Standing male figure in profile to left holding paper

WAG 1995.268


William Roscoe believed this drawing was by the artist nicknamed Masaccio - or 'Big Tomas' (1401-1428/9?), so named because of his size. He was celebrated as the fifteenth-century founder of the Florentine school but died young from the plague. His most important surviving works are the frescoes in the Brancacci Chapel of Santa Maria del Carmine in Florence. In Roscoe's time the drawing's grey paper was still its original blue colour. When the drawing was sold in Liverpool during Roscoe's bankruptcy auction 23 September 1816 (lot 15), it was sold along with another fifteenth-century drawing of a 'Standing Young Man' (WAG 1995.82), presently attributed to the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio (about 1448-1494). Both drawings were bought by the Benedictine monk Edward Slater (1774-1832), who was secretly buying on behalf of Charles Robert Blundell (1761-1837), of Ince Blundell Hall, one of Roscoe's main creditors. Later twentieth century art historians have suggested other artists as the draughtsman, including Filippino Lippi (about 1457-1504), who completed the fresco cycle which Masaccio had started in the Brancacci Chapel, and was known for his exceptional drawing skills. Another suggestion has been the painter and architect Bramantino (about 1465-1530), who mainly worked in Milan. The inscription along the top of the drawing has so far proved indecipherable.