Volterrano (Baldassare Franceschini)

Dates1611 - 1690

A sculptor's son, Il Volterrano first studied with a local artist. He attended a well-known Florentine school headed by a Mannerist painter and later assisted the master's follower. His earliest works, still in his native Volterra, display this Mannerist influence.

In 1636 one of the Medici family commissioned Volterrano to create frescoes on the family history for their villa in Florence; he finished them twelve years later. Medici patronage continued, as did commissions from other distinguished families, making Volterrano one of the Baroque era's most successful painters in Florence.

Volterrano's frescoes in the Palazzo Pitti, completed around 1652, show his full understanding of Pietro da Cortona's style, demonstrated in Cortona's decorations for the palace in the previous decade. Volterrano worked until his death, continuing in Cortona's style. He completed decorative commissions in churches and palaces consisting of oil paintings and murals painted on tiled walls.

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