This was completed using black chalk on brown paper, with additional touches of white chalk then used in order to 'heighten' the finished look. Few drawings exist from Tintoretto's career, which makes this particular piece extremely valuable, from both a financial and historical sense. As we can see from the piece found here, this was a highly skilled draughtsman, though his work in this medium has never received quite the acclaim or exposure that it clearly deserves. Within the Italian Renaissance, and to a lesser degree the Venetian Mannerist period, drawing was an essential skill for any painter who would not be considered talented unless he could draw to an exceptionally high standard.
Michelangelo produced a marble sculpture of Giuliano de' Medici in 1526-1534. It stands at 1.68m tall and artist Tintoretto decided to make a number of study drawings, focusing entirely on the head of this statue. When we compare the date of the sculpture and this artist's drawing, it is actually possible that Tintoretto might have completed it soon after Michelangelo had unveiled the piece, although it is hard to be sure of that. The sculpture is at the Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo, Florence and would have represented a rare visit to this city by Tintoretto, who generally preferred to be in his native-Venice.
The piece is now owned by AGSA, the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide. This is a nation which is starting to build up a list of impressive art galleries and museums, attempting to compete with the more established institutions in Europe and North America. This particular venue holds over 38,000 works in total and has attempted to cover a good breadth of styles from right across the globe. Circe Invidiosa, The favourites of the Emperor Honorius by John William Waterhouse, Priestess of Delphi by John Collier and Christ and the Two Marys by William Holman Hunt are amongst the highlights in their permanent collection, which are all related to the British Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.