Four Male Figures – National Gallery of Scotland – Edinburgh

The work dates back to 1505 and was probably originally part of a larger canvas.

The fragment is in fact evidently cut out and represents four men, whose bodies are completely naked except for a very light veil softly lying on the hips of the three standing on the left. The construction of the characters follows the ideals of classical statuary: the bodies are in fact sculptural and perfect, while the poses creates a feeling of harmony and gracefulness.

The figures are not identifiable, but the nudity and the context where the scene is set suggest that it is an ancient era.

The architecture has in fact a classical style: at the right end of the table, just behind the character taken from behind, a red porphyry pillar, richly decorated with grotesque motifs, stands out; while the floor, foreshortened prospectively towards the vanishing point (external to the space of the fragment that remains to us), is decorated with panels within which open octagons frame squares. On the background, beyond a low balustrade, a hilly landscape is decorated with grassy fronds.

The canvas is preserved at the National Gallery of Scotland in Edinburgh.