Baldassare Franceschini, called Il Volterrano, Volterra 1611 - 1690 Florence
Baldassare Franceschini, called Il Volterrano, was born in Volterra in 1611. The son of a sculptor, he came to be known by the name of his native town and was first apprenticed there to a local painter, Cosimo Daddi. He later moved to Florence to enter the studio of Matteo Rosselli and, in his early twenties, worked on the Sala degli Argenti of the Pitti Palace. After a journey around northern Italy in 1640, subsequent works show clear influences of Correggio, Michelangelo, and Raphael.
Volterrano was clearly an ambitious and determined figure and, alongside his intense programme of fresco projects, he worked consistently on commissions for portraits and cabinet paintings for his noble patrons. Major commissions include the frescoes in the Loggia of the Villa Petraia depicting the history of the Medici family, as well as the dome and vault of the Niccolini Chapel of Santa Croce, Florence. He was elected to the Accademia del Disegno in 1652 and became a full academician in 1654. Greatly esteemed in his lifetime, Volterrano, with the survival of much of his graphic work, has become known as one of the most exceptional draughtsmen of the seventeenth century.