Francesco Montelatici, Il Cecco Bravo (Florence 1600-1661 Innsbruck)
Francesco Montelatici, Il Cecco Bravo (Florence 1600-1661 Innsbruck)

Saint Agatha

Details
Francesco Montelatici, Il Cecco Bravo (Florence 1600-1661 Innsbruck)
Saint Agatha
with inscription 'Montelatici Francesco, detto Cecco Bravo-/ fiorentino - m 1661/ ved: Orlandi 1.195.' (on the verso)
black and red chalk
9 ¾ x 7 ½ in. (24.7 x 19.2 cm)
Provenance
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 9 July 2008, lot 101.

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Jonathan den Otter
Jonathan den Otter

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Lot Essay

Swiftly drawn in red and black chalk, the artist’s signature technique, the sheet shows a taste for elongated figural types that Cecco learned from his master, Giovanni Biliverti. Nevertheless, this depiction of the tall figure of Saint Agatha presenting her attributes – the severed breast and the palm of martyrdom – dates later in Cecco’s career, as suggested by the confident use of chalks and abbreviated style. As further recorded by archival sources, on 29 May 1655 the artist was commissioned by the friars of the Sanctuary of the Virgin in San Romano (Pisa) to paint an altarpiece with the Virgin flanked on the side walls of the chapel by two panels depicting Saints Lucy and Agatha. While the main altarpiece survives in situ, the lateral saints have been removed and lost since 1887 (A. Bersanti, Cecco Bravo. Pittore senza regola, exhib. cat., Florence, Casa Buonarroti, 1999, p. 92). The present sheet could possibly relate to this lost work.

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