The late-sixteenth-century artist Federico Zuccari (or Zuccaro) traveled widely, and his art reflects broad influences and has broad appeal. The soft, painterly feel of this portrait is typical of his chalk drawings, but on closer examination it is evident that it was created with fine, parallel lines. Admiring the artist’s compassionate interpretation of his subject, some have proposed to identify the sitter with an older relative. The drawing is not connected with any known painting project, but the abbreviated depictions of the sitter’s hands and tunic suggest that Zuccari did intend to “complete” the drawing in another context.
Federico Zuccari, portrait of an old man. Black and red chalk on paper.1954.575