About this artwork

This drawing is a preliminary study for the main scene in Franco’s Baptism of Christ in the Barbaro chapel in San Francesco della Vigna, Venice. Executed with a fine pen and delicate washes, the high degree of finish of this drawing suggests that he produced it during the later stages of the planning of the altarpiece. However, all of the figures underwent alterations between this sheet and the finished painting. The presence of the two Franciscan Saints (whose presence at the Baptism would have been chronologically impossible) was undoubtedly done at the request of the patron Daniele Barbaro, whose family chapel was within a Franciscan church.

Updated before 2020

  • artist:
  • title:
    The Baptism of Christ with Saints Bernardino of Siena and Francis
  • date created:
    1552 - 1554
  • materials:
    Pen, brown ink and wash on paper (right bottom corner of paper added)
  • measurements:
    18.70 x 21.50 cm
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    David Laing Bequest to the Royal Scottish Academy transferred 1910
  • accession number:
    D 1591
  • gallery:
    View by Appointment
  • depicted:
  • subject:
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Battista Franco

Battista Franco