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 Baldassare (Il Volterrano) Franceschini  (1611 - 1689)



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Lived/Active: Italy      Known for: church fresco, religious figure painting and drawing

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Il Volterrano is primarily known as Baldassare (Il Volterrano) Franceschini

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Also known as Il Volterrano for his place of birth, Volterra, Baldassare Franceschini was a 17th century Italian fresco and easel painter, who worked primarily around Florence and who earned his good reputation from his frescos.  In terms of art history, he was active during the decline of the Italian Baroque style.

One of his first teachers was Cosifiio Daddi, and also he worked with his father, who was a sculptor with alabaster.  Deserving of more sophisticated training, he, age sixteen, was placed by the Marquese Jghirami with Matteo Rosselli, a Florentine painter, and within a year he was working on frescoes in Volterra.  One of his frescoes there is St. John the Evangelist in the Church of Santa Chiara.

He also did frescos for the Medici family, the ruling family of Florence, at their Villa Petraia, and he did a fresco, The Coronation of the Virgin, in Florence in the cupola of the Annuziata.  This project took two years and involved much hard labor. 

In 1652, under the direction of the Marchese Filippo Niccolini, he traveled around Italy for many months to learn more about frescoing because the Marchese wanted to use him on the back wall of a chapel of Santa Croce.  Places that he visited included Parma, Bologna and Rome, and upon his return, he did the commissioned work for Niccolini.  They remain his best known artistic accomplishment.

Although he painted with oil, many of those paintings were unfinished.

Baldassare Franceschini died at age 78 of a stroke on January 6, 1689.

Source:  (Credit to the Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition)

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