Thanks to a donation from the Gabriele Busch-Hauck Foundation to mark the ninetieth birthday of the benefactress, the Städel Museum's stock of Italian Baroque drawings in its Collection of Prints and Drawings was enriched by a red-chalk drawing by the Florentine painter and graphic artist Cristoforo (also: Cristofano) Allori. Created in around 1600, the study of a boy wearing a peaked cap turned sideways is a powerful example of the change in style taking place at the time from Mannerism to Early Baroque.
Another red-chalk drawing by Allori showing the same boy's head and peaked cap is held by an American private collection. It is clearly a repetition of the new Frankfurt acquisition in which the artist increased the realism by working out the textures and volumes more precisely, and by adding a more open gaze, while also making the face more harmonious and hence more attractive. The drawing at the Städel Museum is probably the original study, drawn directly from a live model. It is characterised by a similar inner contradiction, albeit expressed in a different way. On the one hand, the irregular facial features reveal the artist's wish to record reality accurately, while on the other, the two-dimensionality of the representation, the smoothness of the surface and the relatively distant gaze are indebted to Florentine Mannerism.