Colnaghi Foundation Journal 02 - Page 20



20
Soldani’s attempt to market Filippo Baldinucci’s collection of paintings
Soldani’s attempt to market Filippo Baldinucci’s collection of paintings
The third and most singular of Filippo Baldinucci’s
treasures is Fra Bartolomeo’s Head of Christ as Man of
Sorrows (44), which is still in Florence, in the Museo
Nazionale di San Marco, the Friar’s monastery (fig. 14).
This painting is securely identifiable on account of its
unusual materials, fresco on terracotta.41
Fig. 12 / Fra Bartolomeo,
Saint Francis Embracing Saint
Dominic, ca. 1511, detached
fresco from Ospizio della
Maddalena Le Caldine, 108 x
189 cm, Florence, Museo di
San Marco.
Fig. 13 / Fra Bartolomeo, Rest
on the Flight into Egypt, ca.
1495-1505, tempera and oil
on canvas, 135 x 113.5 cm,
Pienza, Palazzo Vescovile.
Fig. 14 / Fra Bartolomeo,
Christ Crowned with Thorns,
fresco on terracotta, 52 x
37 cm, Florence, Museo
Nazionale di San Marco.
Another work by Fra Bartolomeo, the Rest on the Flight
into Egypt (45), is said to be in his “early style” (prima
maniera) and measures some 145 cm square. The
painting corresponds with a version of this subject on
canvas, measuring about this size (allowing, as usual in
this list, for the frame as well), now in the Archbishop’s
Palace in Pienza, though the support may have been
different (fig. 13). The Pienza picture’s provenance
remains to be checked, however, before a conclusion
about its candidature can be reached.40
Baldinucci also owned some Madonnas ascribed
optimistically to “big names” – Raphael,
Parmigianino, and Correggio (27), which were
seemingly not all that Filippo had hoped. The
description of one work by Correggio (1489-1534) is
precise enough to identify the composition easily: “A
picture four palms high (ca. 116 cm) with a landscape,
in which are a Virgin in the act of adoring the Baby
Jesus, lying on the ground on some hay, by the hand
of Correggio, of which there is also a print.” 42 This
description corresponds to the Virgin Adoring the Christ
Child, a famous and popular gem of the Uffizi Gallery
(fig. 15), however, the Uffizi painting was given by
Marchese Ferdinando Gonzaga to Grand Duke
Cosimo II in 1617 and hung in the prestigious location
of the Tribuna. So Baldinucci must have owned a
copy, presumably one made in Florence after the
arrival of Correggio’s painting.43
Baldinucci also owned some Mannerist paintings. The
presence of a Virgin and Child with the Young Saint John the
Baptist (38), given to Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540), in
Baldinucci’s collection could fill an alarming gap in the
provenance of an extant work depicting this subject,
21

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