Of Art and Volterra: Il Volterrano (Baldassare Franceschini)

Baldassare Franceschini (known also as “Il Volterrano”, born 1611 in Volterra, died 1690) was a son of the alabaster sculptor. He attended a well-known Florentine school headed by a mannerist painter, and therefore his early works displayed significant influence of this style. In 1636 one of the Medici family commissioned Franceschini to create frescoes on the family history for their villa in Florence. After he finished his work, the Medici patronage continued, as did commissions from other distinguished families, making Franceschini one of the Baroque era’s most successful painters in Florence. Among other works, Franceschini painted frescoes in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence (completed around 1652). He completed also several decorative commissions in churches and palaces consisting of oil paintings and murals.

Bacchus with Attendant Putti

Bacchus with Attendant Putti, ca 1670 (Private collection)

Baldassarre Franceschini_1650_MET

Allegorical Figure of Purity with a Unicorn Sketch by Baldassare Franceschini, dated 1650 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)

There are over 50 sketches and drawings by Franceschini at the Louvre in Paris. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York has 11 beautiful drawings by Baldassare Franceschini in its collection. You can view the Met collection here.