Showing the artist's characteristic use of strong contours and hatching, this remarkably large drawing is a study for the figure of Christ in Passarotti's oil painting The Coronation of the Virgin with Saints John the Evangelist and Luke, which was rediscovered by 1998 (Sotheby's, New York, 30 January 1998, lot 24a) and is now in the Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide (fig. 1). In the painting, Passarotti amended the figure of Christ, repositioning his legs and left arm. The painting, measuring a monumental 303 x 194 cm, was most likely executed in the early 1580s and can be compared to The Presentation in the Temple from 1583 in the Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna (A. Ghirardi, Bartolomeo Passarotti. Pittore (1529-1592). Catalogo generale, Rimini 1990, no. 84, pl. XXVI).
Fig.1. Bartolomeo Passarotti, The Coronation of the Virgin with Saints John the Evangelist and Luke, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide.