COPY AFTER A CAST OF THE RIGHT ARM OF MICHELANGELO'S DAVID
By descent in the family of the artist
Private collection, UK
The drawing is of the right arm of Michelangelo's sculpture of David, the original of which has always been in Florence. Since Richmond did not visit Florence until 1838 he must have drawn this from a cast. One such cast of the right arm of David was in the Antique Room of the Royal Academy: it can be seen hanging on the window wall of the Room in Edward Burney's drawing The Antique Room at Old Somerset House of 1779 (Royal Academy of Arts). In Richmond's early Account Book he noted that in June 1827 he made 'A finished drawing of Michel Angelos Arm' and in June 1828 'Made a model of MA Arm' (sic). It seems more than likely that the present drawing is the one described in Richmond's account book.
When Richmond finally saw the marble David in Florence he wrote of his admiration of this sculpture with its 'nerve spring and life', suggesting that it 'might walk away' (MS II, no date indicated, but between 1-13 June 1838).