Lot 103
  • 103

Giovanni Battista Naldini

50,000 - 70,000 USD
56,250 USD
bidding is closed


  • Giovanni Battista Naldini
  • Christ Carrying the Cross
  • oil on copper, a tondo
  • diameter:  5 1/2  in.; 13.9 cm.


With Colnaghi, London, from whom acquired by the present collector.

Catalogue Note

Naldini spent his early years studying under Pontormo before spending some time in Rome, where he studied the later works of Raphael and his students. Upon his return to Florence he worked with Giorgio Vasari on the decoration of the main rooms of the Palazzo Vecchio and is perhaps best known today for his participation with the other leading Florentine painters of the day in the groundbreaking decorative scheme from 1570-72 for the studiolo of Francesco I de' Medici, Grand Duke ot Tuscany. The paintings in the scheme arguably represent the pinnacle of Florentine late Mannerism and Naldini's contribution, his depiction of Ambergris Gatherers and his interpretation of an Allegory of Dreams, were amongst the best received by contemporaries.1

This charming little copper predates the studiolo period and relates to the altarpiece of the same subject from 1566 in the Badia in Florence, his first important commission as an independent artist. Compositionally the main differences between the two works is the treatment of the soldier with the plumed helmet whose body, in the altarpiece, is turned to the left, and the figure of Christ, who in the altarpiece leans back further.

Two preparatory drawings are in the British Museum, London (inv. nos. 1856.7.12.9 and 1856.7.12.10).

1. See W. Vitzthum, Lo studiolo di Francesco I a Firenze, Milan 1969.