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Bust of a Man
Baldassare Franceschini (Il Volterrano)

The fresco technique used here, of painting in mineral pigments suspended in water on wet plaster, gives results of great freshness and immediacy. Although fresco painting is usually associated with a fixed wall surface, portable frescoes on wickerwork, slate or, as here, terracotta tiles, were quite common in Florence during the 17th century. The rapid and fluid brushstrokes displayed throughout this picture demonstrate the freedom of execution achieved through the fresco medium.

The painting entered the collection in 1921 as a work by Guido Reni. The name of Franceschini, one of the most famous and prolific fresco painters in 17th-century Florence, was first associated with the painting in 1929.

Key facts
Artist Baldassare Franceschini (Il Volterrano)
Artist dates 1611 - 1690
Full title Bust of a Man
Date made about 1645
Medium and support Fresco on terracotta tile
Dimensions 50.7 x 35.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1921
Inventory number NG3589
Location in Gallery Not on display
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