Baldassare FRANCESCHINI called IL VOLTERRANO - 1611 – 1689
Standing Male Youth
Florentine School

Black chalk with white heightening
On a brown prepared paper

41.7 x 27.7 cm

Provenance :

Euro :

F. Villot Collection
De Romfort Collection



Baldassare Franceschini, born in Volterra in 1611, thus accounting for his nick-name, was a leading fresco painter in Florence during the second half of the seventeenth century. First trained as a sculptor by his father, Gasparo, he then studied in Florence under Matteo Rosselli and later assisted Giovanni da Giovanni in the decoration of the Sala degli Argenti in the Pitti Palace in 1658. He mainly remained in Florence, apart from a trip to Rome in 1652 and trips to Venice and Parma in 1640 and 1652 respectively. Il Volterrano's most famous work, the decoration of the SS. Annuziatta in Florence, reveals the influence of Corregio and Pietro da Cortona. His other Florentine works include the Palazzo Della Gherardesca, Capponi and Niccolini as well as numerous churches. The style of Franceschini became always more expressive and dramatic. He died in Florence in 1689.

The manner of drawing the hands with pointed fingers are typical of Franceschini' early period, prior to 1650. Chalk was his preferred medium when making figurative drawings, especially those taken from life models, as in the present sheet. Comparative drawings are the "Study of Alessandro de Medici" in the Fondation Custodia in Paris (, a "Standing Youth Pointing with his Finger" and a "Standing Youth Holding a Vase" both in the Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi, Florence, (inv.nos.3271S, 3307S).

The drawing was previously attributed to Cesare Dandini and Jacopo Vignali. Since the publication. The attribution to Baldassare Franceschini and the dating has been confirmed by Prof. Dr. Christel Thiem, Stuttgart, in a letter dated March 19th, 2003 as well as by Prof. Monbeig Goguel, verbally, upon seeing the drawing in original in March 2006.

Literature :
 ”Da Giorgione a Tiepolo – Dessins du 15e au 18e siècle dans les collections privées et publiques de Belgique”. Martial & Snoeck, 1982, p.181.

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