(Florence 1560 - Naples After 1631)
The Visitation [recto]; Sketch for The Visitation and a Design for its Frame and the Altar Chapel Facade [verso]
The verso in red chalk, pen and brown ink and blue wash.
336 x 271 mm. (13 1/4 x 10 5/8 in.) at greatest dimensions.
The verso of the present sheet contains a rapid sketch in red chalk of the composition of the Visitation on the recto, together with a rough design for the surrounding frame for the altarpiece, with its arched top. The verso also shows Balducci’s sketch for the decoration of the chapel façade in which his painting was to be placed, to be surmounted by a coat of arms - presumably that of the donor of the chapel or the altarpiece itself – flanked by spandrels with winged angels.
Musella Guida has likened the red chalk sketches on the verso of this sheet with another, albeit earlier drawing by Balducci in the collection of the Morgan Library; a study of The Angels Appearing to Abraham, which is likely to date from the artist’s Florentine or Roman period.
Among stylistically comparable drawings by Balducci is a study of The Calling of Saint Matthew, in the Giacomo and Nicola Giuliani Collection in Campobasso in southern Italy, and a drawing of The Holy Trinity Crowning the Virgin, in the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon.