Skip to main content
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
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo