This complex work was produced to explore different aspects of a composition on a single piece of paper. Notice the three separate sketches of the monk; one is drawn in graphite in the center and two on either side are done in ink. Also notice the numerous putti and table sketches, some in graphite, some in ink. By comparing these elements, it is possible to see the process the artist underwent and to trace the progress of his ideas. The graphite underdrawings beneath the pen cause movement and add life to the sketch. This vitality is heightened by his rapid strokes of the brush. Bison was the last figural artist to practice the rapidity characteristic of the Venetian pictorial style.
Label text done by student Sara L. Johnson in conjunction with the History of Art seminar 613, "Venetian Art at the University of Michigan", November 27, 1996.
Collector's stamp lower left corner - ornate G and L intertwined - Luigi Grassi, Florence (Lugt Suppl 1171b) Stamped number "282" "Magnasco" - lower left