Double-sided Drawing by Baldassare Franceschini, Il Volterrano

Double-sided Drawing by Baldassare Franceschini, Il Volterrano

Circa 1660
Black chalk on buff paper
14 3/4″ high x 10 3/8″ wide

H. Shickman Gallery
Richard and Trude Krautheimer (with their collector’s mark)

A Double-sided Drawing:
Studies of a Man Holding a Horn
Madonna and Child with Saint John the Baptist, and study for an Ecce Homo

The lost fresco for which this drawing is a study was rediscovered by London dealer Jean-Luc Baroni and catalogued by the Volterrano specialist Riccardo Spinelli (this drawing is published on page 16 in the monograph he co-authored).

Baldessare Franceschini (1611-1689), known familiarly as Volterrano, was born the son of a sculptor in the town of Volterra. As a teenager he apprenticed under the Florentine painter Matteo Rosselli.

Volterrano became the first Baroque painter in Florence. Favored for his fresco paintings, he worked for the Medici and was sent by the Grand Duke to Venice, Bologna and Rome to study the works of the masters he encountered there before returning to Florence to complete the fresco project in Santa Croce.

He has a distinctive and energetic drawing style. The figure of Christ on the verso, perhaps a study for an Ecce Homo, may also be related to the figure of Christ in Volterrano’s “Way to Calvary” in Palazzo Gerini, Florence.

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