Francesco Montelatici, called Cecco Bravo (Florence 1601 - Innsbruck 1661)

Saint Agatha

Red and black chalk.
249 x 193 mm. (9 3/4 x 7 5/8 in.)

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The present sheet is a fine and typical example of Cecco Bravo’s manner, characterized by the use of a combination of red and black chalk and a feathery, seemingly insubstantial depiction of form; also typical of the artist is the slightly curved posture of the standing saint. A closely comparable drawing by Cecco Bravo of Saint Bridget of Sweden, also in red and black chalk, is in a private collection in Lisbon, while another stylistically and thematically comparable drawing is a study of Five Martyr Saints in the Louvre.

This drawing is unrelated to any surviving painting by the artist. However, it may be noted that in 1655, near the end of his career, Cecco Bravo received a commission for an altarpiece of The Madonna with Saints Mary Magdalene and Catherine of Alexandria for a chapel in the church of San Romano in Pisa, where it remains today. At the same time, he also painted two canvases of standing female saints for the entrance walls of the same chapel; a Saint Lucy and a Saint Agatha, both of which were still in situ in 1887, when they are mentioned in a guide to the church published that year, but are now lost. The present sheet may have been a preparatory study for the latter painting.

Francesco Montelatici CECCO BRAVO

Saint Agatha

357

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