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The Adoration of the Angels

Antonio Franchi, called Lucchese

* 1638 in Lucca † 1709 in Florence

Oil on paper, mounted on thin cardboard. Size of sheet: 17.4 x 27.7 cm.

This fine bozzetto is a rare work by the Lucca painter, which belongs to small group oil sketches of similar character. They are uniformly executed in a fluid Camaïeu technique in tempera or oils, with a preference for pinkish-brown shades and bright, yellowish-white heightening. Two are in the Louvre (see C. Monbeig Goguel, Dessins Toscans XVIe – XVIIIe Siècles, Tome II 1620–1800, Musée du Louvre, Paris 2005, p. 252, nos. 328–329) and two more are in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lille (see the exhibition catalogue Bellezze di Firenze. Disegni fiorentini del Seicento e del Settecento dal Museo di Belle Arti di Lille, by M. Chiarini, Palazzo Pitti, Florence 1991, pp. 88–91, nos. 39–40). Two small ones are in the collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (see J. Bean, W. Griswold, 18th century Italian Drawings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 1990, pp. 67–69, nos. 48–49). A recently discovered smaller oil sketch, in the same manner, was sold through the Berlin trade (Nicolaas Teeuwisse, Ausgewählte Werke, cat. XI, no. 9). Franchi became a pupil of Giovanni Domenico Ferrucci and then of Matteo Boselli in Lucca. By 1655 he moved to Florence, where Baldassare Franceschini, known as ‘il Volterrano’, was one of his tutors. In the following period Franchi was alternately in Florence and Lucca. From around 1665–67 he was active in Rome, where he moved in the artistic circles around Pietro Testa and Antonio Gherardi. Sponsored by il Volterrano and enjoying the patronage of such Florentine noble families as the Medici, Strozzi and Capponi, Franchi decided in 1674 to move for good to Florence, where he successfully established himself as a portraitist and painter of historical and mythological subjects, which he executed in the light, gracious style of the Late Baroque.

£ 9,500.-


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