Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

Drawing - A kneeling man and a head study

A kneeling man and a head study

  • Object:


  • Date:

    ca. 1510-1520 (drawn)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Titian (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Black chalk heightened with white

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case IONIDES, shelf 6B

At various times this drawing has been given optimistic attributions to Giorgione and Titian. The bold handling of the chalk and dynamic stance connect it with early drawings by Titian, but the confusion in the understanding of the kneeling pose seen from a low viewpoint suggest a lesser hand in Titian's circle. Ionides bought the drawing in 1882 from J.C. Robinson, one of the leading connoisseurs of the day, who had formerly served as the V&A's 'Art Referee'.

Physical description

Chalk study on blue paper of a kneeling man in a short cloak looking up; in the top left corner is a study of a man's head.


ca. 1510-1520 (drawn)


Titian (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Black chalk heightened with white


Height: 28.4 cm, Width: 19.1 cm

Object history note

Bequeathed by C.A. Ionides, 1900

Descriptive line

Chalk drawing of a kneeling man wearing a short cloak and a head study

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Ward-Jackson, Peter, Italian Drawings Volume I. 14th-16th century, London: Her Majesty's Stationary Office, 1979, 163.

The relevant text is as follows:

school of
Tiziano Vecellio


A young man in a short cloak and hose knwwling on one knee. Aobe, another study of the head and shoulders of a bearded youth wearing a hat
Inscribed in ink ‘Giorgion’; on the back in a different hand the date 1736 and in J. C. Ribinson’s hand ‘Titian. Collections R. Houlditch 1736? J. C. Robinson 1878’
Black chalk heightened with white on faded blue paper
11 ¼ x 7 ½ (286 x 190) CAI.418

PROVENANCE R. Houlditch (Lugt 2214); Sir J. C. Robinson (see above); Ionides Bequest 1901 (Lugt 488)

LITERATURE Ionides Catalogue, p. 15 (as by Titian); Reitlinger, no.22; Borneius, p. 224; D. von Hadeln, Die Zeichnugen des Tizian, Berlin, 1924, no. 19; L. Fröhlich-Bum, ‘Studien zu Handzeichnungen der italienischen Renaissance’ in Vienna Fahrbuch, N. S. 2, 1928, p. 195, footnote 51; Tietze and Tietze-Conrat, no. A.1933; L. Puppi, ‘Disegni veneti del Musseo di Belle Art de Budapest’ in Arte Veneta, 13/14, 1959/60, p. 289; Fenyö, North Italian drawings, p. 61

Reitlinger ascribed the drawing to Titain’s school; von Hadeln to Titian. Fröhlich-Bum suggests a Brescian artist, perhaps Moretto. Tietze and Tietze-Corat maintain, perhaps rightly, that the drawing is too weak for Titian. They point out that ‘it is difficult to tell on which knee the man is kneeling; his right shoulder and arm beneath the cloak cannot be felt, and the foreshortened hadn is a surprise.’ Puppi compares the drawing stylistically with the Christ carrying the Cross in Budapest (Fenyö, fig. 21) and apparently regards both drawings as by Titian; whereas Fenyö has come to the conclusion that neither is by him.


Black chalk; White chalk



Subjects depicted

Figure Studies




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.