ModelloA modello (from the Italian; plural, modelli) is a sketch for a painting (or other work of art, especially sculpture) made in the same, or similar, medium. Modelli were usually made to show patrons what the end result would roughly look like, as well as to help artists work out their ideas.
They are not usually as detailed as a cartoon, which is intended to be copied accurately. Modelli were admired and collected by connoisseurs of the 16th century in Italy. It is often hard to distinguish them from ricordi, which are reduced replicas of larger paintings also often executed with freedom of touch. A distinction may be made between a bozzetto - a roughly blocked-out preliminary sketch - and a modello, which is more finished.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN