Colnaghi Foundation Journal 02 - Page 26



26
Soldani’s attempt to market Filippo Baldinucci’s collection of paintings
Soldani’s attempt to market Filippo Baldinucci’s collection of paintings
D O C UM E N TARY A PPEN DIX I
All transcriptions of documents in appendix I and appendix II (online, including letters
regarding the transaction included in the same manuscript) are my own. The numbering, for
ready identification, has been added by the author.
DO CUM E N TA RY A P P E N DI X I I
[28-29]
Due paesi di palmi 4 e mezzo lunghi, e 3 lati in circa con poche figurine di mano
del Borgognone, che uno non finite
[30-31]
Due paesini alte tre palmi in circa, con alcune figurine, che il paese e del P(adre?)
Mattia, e le figure del Borgognone
An itemized list of all the pictures belonging to Avvocato Francesco Saverio
Baldinucci. Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Rawlinson 132, f. 34 r-35v.
[32]
[33]
[2, 3]
Un Ecceomo mezza figura al natural in asse ovato, alto 4 palmi in circa di mano
del Cigoli
Una testa al naturale di Gregorio Pagani
[5, 6]
Due teste al naturale d’una femmina, e d’un fanciullo, mano di Andrea
Commodi
[7]
Una femmina rappresentante la Pace con Vliva in mano al natural mezza figura
di Carlo Dolci
[34]
Una testa a olio su la carta attacata all’asse dell’autore, di mano di Andrea de
[35]
Un quadro di (5?) palmi in c(irc)a a mezzo tondo, e largo 4, entrovi un Presepio
Sarto, al naturale
con una bellissima prospettiva, e paesino con la S(antissim)a Vergine, S. Giuseppe, e piu
angijoli, e una figurina di Pastore di mano di Andrea de Sarto f. 35 r.
[36]
[37]
[38]
Tre teste al naturale, che una con busto, l’altre due con mezzo busto di mano del
Volterrano
[39]
[12]
Un ritratto mezzo busto del famoso Gio: Bologna Scultore, di mano del Bassan
Vecchio
[40]
[13]
Una testa d’un giovanetto ritratto del Pittore Biliverti, mano di Cigoli
[41-42]
[14-15]
Due teste di pastelli al naturale m[an]o del Volterrano
Un ritratto di piu mezza figura al naturale si dice Francavilla famoso scultore di
m[an]o di Gio: Ba Paggi
[18]
Un quadretto in rame di tre palmi incirca, entrovi un paesino con Gesu Maria, e
Giuseppe, figure di mezzo bracci, mano di Cesare Dandini
[19]
Un ritratto al naturale in legno, si dice di Sisto quinto S(antissimo) Ponte(fic)e di
mano del Bronzino
[20]
Ritratto al naturale d’una femmina mezzo busto di d(ett)o Bronzino
[21]
Una testa al naturale d’una giovane del Cigoli, non totalm(en)te finite ma
bellissima
[22]
Un ritratto di mezza figura al naturale fatto di se mede(si)mo da Onorio Marinari f. 34 v.
[23]
Una figura intera rappresentante un S. Bastiano Martire di otto Palmi incirca di
mano di Tiziano, si dice il modello al naturale del S. Bastano fatto da d(ett)o
Tiziano, nella famosa tavola di Venezia
[24]
Un quadro in tavola alto 4 palmi, entrovi la S(antissim)a Vergine, Gesu, e S.
Giovannino al naturale di mano del Rosso
[9-11]
[17]
Un quadro largo 6 palmi, e alto 4 in circa, entrovi piu uccelami Ochi polli etc al
naturale di mano di Alfonso Boschi
Una testa al naturale di femmina di Carlin Dolci
Un ritratto al naturale mezzo busto con armature in dosso, si dice il Duca di
Guisa, mano del Vandick
Un quadretto in legno di due palmi, entrovi un S. Girolamo nel Deserto
d’Andrea Mantegna
[8]
[16]
Un quadretto di due palmi, rappresentante una mezza figura di S Giovannino
Un quadro di 3 palmi in circa, entrovi un fanciullo con un canino al naturale, di
Doc. 1
f. 42r [25], 18 September 1717
Replying to a short list sent by Zamboni, Soldani sends a note with prices and
includes some comments.
As to the pictures, you will see the prices that Mr Baldinucci is asking from the enclosed note. I
have been to see them and they appear to me to be beautiful, but one cannot get a judgement
as to whether they are originals, despite the fact that he asserts it, adding many reasons, which
I shall omit for the sake of brevity: the strongest is that his father (Filippo) understood these
things and that having them re-examined afresh by painters will confirm their authenticity.
The one held to be either by Cigoli or by Tintoretto is not finished, but the rest are in quite
good condition. Only the one by Parmigianino for which he is asking 90 Louis d’or is rather
dark in places. So – if you were interested – you would need to make him an offer and – as I
have said – ignore the fact that he maintains that they are originals.
The picture where the Virgin is adoring the Child by Correggio seem to me quite beautiful,
but as you know, if it was painted in the days when Correggio was alive it is very difficult to
know if it could be by his hand.
mano di Paolo Veronese
Un quadro alto 3 palmi in circa, entrovi un ritratto di Senator Veneziano, o di
A price-list is provided on a separate sheet. A selection of its contents follows:
mano, o della scuola di Tiziano
Due ovati di 3 palmi, entrovi un S. Bastiano, mezza figura, e un altro mezzo
bustoignudo, che uno del Vignali, l’altro del Furino (?)
[43]
Un quadro in tavola, alto piu di 3 palmi, entrovi un S. Fran(ces)co e con S.Domenico,
che si abbracciano, figure intere di mano del famoso frate di S. Marco di Firenze
[44]
Una testa d’un Salvadore al natural su un tegolo, fatta afresco su la calcine, di
mano del Frate
[45]
Un quadro alto (5) Palmi in circa, e largo cinque in circa, entrovi una figura
intera della S(antissi)ma Vergine, Gesu e S. Giuseppe, tutte al natural con Paese di
mano del d(ett)o Frate, prima maniera
[46-47]
Due quadretti compagni alti due palmi e mezzo, e larghi uno e mezzo, che in
uno vi e S. Francesco mezza figura, e nell’altro un S. Giorgio, di mano di Carlin
Dolci
[48]
Un quadretto d’un palmo, e mezzo con una Vergine in Gloria, di mano di
Carlino
[49]
Un quadro in Tavola largo incirca a p(a)lmi cinque, e lato quattro, entrovi il
Salvadore, che porta la Croce al Calvario, con dodici figure di manigoldi,
e due ladri, tutti di teste caricate ridicolosam[en]te eccetto quella del Salvadore,
tutta decorosa di mano del Brugolo o Bruges. Tutti I sopradetti quadri sono stati
Un quadretto alto un palmo e mezzo, e lungo palmi tre in circa, rappresentante
l’invenzione di Mose nel Cestello con moltissime figurine, si crede del Cigoli, o
del Tintoretto
sempre tenuti per le mani, che si notano, e cosi stimati dal famoso Volterrano, Livo
Un quadro in tela di palmi 4, alto, e largo a proporzione, entrovi la S(antissim)
a Vergine, S. Anna S. Giovannino, il Bambino Gesu e San Giuseppe con bel
paese, tutte in un gruppo, stimato, o di Raffaello, o di Giulio Romano, ma
comunem(en)te di Raffaello, (per esservi) la stampa del mede(si)mo
Fran(ces)co Saverio che presentemente le tiene e di come persona intendissima
[26]
Un quadretto alto tre palmi, e due largo in circa, entrovi (deleted: “una Vergine”)
un Presepio con tutte figurine intere del Parmigianino
tali professioni. Onde con tutti si posse per tali giudicare non ostante, che vi possano
[27]
Un quadro di palmi Quattro con paese, entrovi una Vergine in atto di adorare
il Bambino Gesu, posto in Terra sul fieno, di mano del Correggo [sic], di cui
anch’ivi la stampa
essendo certo, che ne gl’uni, ne gl’altri gl’abbino veduti fare.
[25]
Excerpts from Correspondence relating the sale of Baldinucci's collection
of paintings contained in Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS Rawlinson 132. All
translations are my own.
del Passignano
Due ovati simili in tela, ritratti di S. Antonino Arciv:o di Firenze e di S. Filippo
Neri al naturale con mezzo busto, mano di Carlin Dolci
[4]
Un ritratto al naturale piu di mezza figura di un Senator Veneziano, di mano del
Tintoretto
Nota dei Quadri del S(ignor)e Avvocato Baldinucci
[1]
27
Meho, Luca Giordano, Morandi, Dandini, e altri forestieri, che gl‘anno veduti
e (f. 35v) tali gli ha tenuti, e acquistati Filippo Baldinucci, Padre dell’Avvocato
delle maniere de’Pittori, era in comunemente stimato, ed altre ad’essersi anche
dilettato delle Professioni di Pittura, e Scultura colle proprie mani ha scritto le vite
de Pittori, intitolati notizie de professori del disegno, con altre opera appartenenti a
essere altri, o non tanto periti, o appassionati, che diversamente gli giudichino
The final prices required are as follows:
A life-size half-length portrait in armour said to be of the Duke De Guise and by the hand
of Van Dyck. This has been sold some days ago. [Indeed, it is vigorously crossed out]
A full-length figure representing Saint Sebastian martyr about 8 palms high, by the hand
of Titian and said to be the full-size model for the Saint Sebastian by Titian in the famous
altarpiece in Venice – 60 Spanish doubloons.
Doc. 2
f. 50r [33], 12 December 1717
Excerpt from a letter in which Soldani tries to mediate between Zamboni and
the vendor, who had forced him to forward a legal-sounding letter of his own.
Soldani avows his own good faith as a middle-man and offers advice about how
to handle the negotiation.
In fact he is relying entirely on me and I do not think that he will break the agreement with
me, and as I ought to be serving you well, but at the same time not doing a disservice to
Avvocato Baldinucci, I feel that you should take the available pictures to avoid inconvenience
and extra expense. Even if they were not judged to be by the authors claimed, it is still a
fact that the pictures are very beautiful and are worth – even if some attributions are put in
doubt – quite a lot more than he is asking: He is only coming down to the price quoted above
because he needs to get some money for some important business of his own.
[22] I believe that you have his bill, but as I have the arbitration in hand over the 200
doubloons you have offered, I am telling you without more ado that you could offer him 220
Spanish doubloons and a pocket watch, with a fashionable silver case, but without a repeater;
also in my opinion, he would be content to take three or four similar watches to diminish the
price, for he could get their value back here, even if he did not make a profit. Let me know
as soon as possible, for I am well aware that I have been told not to tell you, but he has some
offer to sell the picture-collection as a lot, but I have made him hold back on accepting it.
This is copied verbatim from the brief written me by the Lawyer. But make up your mind
if you want to make this expenditure in spite of the uncertainty about the above-mentioned
paintings. Write me a reply so worded that I can freely let him see your letter, in order that
he can see that we are dealing fairly, and make him whatever offer you wish.
This is not finished and is made for use as a bozzetto.
As to the picture by Cigoli or Tintoretto, I shall have another look at it and, as he wants
not less than 10 doubloons, I shall get it and send it to Mr Fredoli well packed. I told the
Avvocato that when he calculated in Doubloons he meant Italian doubloons and that they
are worth 20 lire each, but now that he has been informed of this he replied that they are
worth 21, meaning that he wants 10 doubloons of 21 lire for the picture. For the sake of
clarity he will contract for the rest in Spanish doubloons.
A picture on canvas 4 palms high and a similar width, with a group of the Blessed Virgin,
Saint Anne, the little Saint John and Saint Joseph in a beautiful landscape estimated to
be either by Raphael or by Giulio Romano, but commonly believed to be by Raphael on
account of an engraving of it – 100 doubloons.
If you decide to make this purchase, I trust that it turns out well, for this sort of material
is difficult to judge, and if they were copies made in the time of a certain author, as is
believed, they would have aged equally and so would be almost impossible to tell apart
[from originals].
[It is interesting to note that an engraving with a caption was produced in evidence as early
as this.]
Doc. 3
f. 66r [49], 4 March 1718
Letter from Soldani to Zamboni restating the complex terms of the payment,
in cash and in kind, commenting further.
A little picture 1 ½ palms high and around 3 palms wide, representing the Finding of Moses
in the basket with many little figures, thought to be by Cigoli, or by Tintoretto – 10 doubloons
On the verso:
A little picture 3 palms high and around 2 palms wide, within it a Nativity all with complete
figures by Parmigianino – 50 doubloons
A picture 4 palms high, with a landscape in which are the Virgin in the act of adoring the
Baby Jesus lying in some straw on the ground by the hand of Correggio, of which there is
also an engraving – 100 doubloons
A picture of about 3 palms high, with in it a life-size boy and dog by the hand of Paolo Veronese
Dove si dice Palmo in ordine alla grandezza, s’intende di Palmo naturale misurato
con una mano giusta.
The prices you see on this note are written by the Avvocato Baldinucci, who says that
the above listed pictures have been "baptized" by many contemporary painters as being
originals and by the authors assigned to them, but that he does not intend to guarantee this,
because none of the men who have assessed them actually saw them being painted.
[This item by Veronese is cancelled, and the author notes that it was given away.]
I have spoken to Avvocato Baldinucci concerning the pictures under discussion. He realizes
that I am dealing with him in an above-board manner. He made me read him the brief
in the letter that you wrote to me and even wanted a copy of it, for he wanted to keep
it carefully, as it consents and agrees to the offer that you have made him, over both the
watches and the cash in the form that you prescribed, for the five pictures, i.e. the Holy
Family by Raphael or Giulio Romano; the Madonna by Correggio; Saint Sebastian by
Titian; the Nativity by Parmigianino; the Finding of Moses in the basket by Tintoretto or
Cigoli. These total 230 Spanish doubloons, or the equivalent value, including the watches.

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