Apr 28, 2022 - Sale 2602

Sale 2602 - Lot 57

Estimate: $ 1,000 - $ 1,500
Virgin and Child with St. John the Baptist.

Engraving and etching, circa 1540. 251x370 mm; 10x14 3/4 inches, thread margins. Second state (of 2), with the artist's name lower center. Crown with a five-pointed star and sphere watermark. A very good impression of this scarce, early engraving.

Battista Franco, also known as il Semolei (before 1510–1561) was an Italian Mannerist painter and printmaker active in Rome, Urbino and Venice in the mid 16th century. Born in Venice, he visited Rome from the 1530s into the early 1540s, where he painted an Allegory of the Battle of Montemurlo now in the Pitti Palace (1537) and a fresco of the Arrest of St. John the Baptist for the Oratory of San Giovanni Decollato (1541). From 1545–51 he was in Urbino, and may have been, along with Girolamo Genga (circa 1476-1551), one of the mentors of Federico Barocci (circa 1535-1612). Franco's painting, in the Mannerist style, was heavily indebted to Michelangelo (1475-1564). Bartsch 29.