Seated Woman Playing a Harp

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Unknown artist, Central Italy
Mid sixteenth century

Seated Woman Playing a Harp
Pencil gone over in brown ink

Museum number 30-1954

The outlines of this drawing have been pricked with little holes indicating that it was used to transfer the design to some other surface, perhaps a canvas for painting or a piece of cloth for embroidery.

The use of such drawings, 'pricked for transfer', were common in Italy from the fifteenth century. Made by the master of a workshop they could be used by his assistants, sometimes repeatedly, to reproduce the same figure in a number of finished paintings. Alternatively, they might be created by skilled artists for craftsmen to repeat the design in another medium, for example embroidery.

Seated Woman Playing a Harp
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