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A pupil of Arcangelo Salimbeni and Cristoforo Roncalli, Alessandro Casolani was one of the foremost Tuscan painters of his time. He was mostly active in Siena, where he, with the collaboration of artists such as Francesco Vanni and Ventura Salimbeni, was reponsible for a number of prestigious commissions. These include his Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew, in the San Niccolò al Carmine, Siena and the Adoration of the Shepherds in the Santa Maria Assunta, also in Siena (see M. Ciampolini, Pittori senesi sel Seicento, I, Antonio Angelini-Dionisio Montorselli, Siena, 2010, pp. 107 and 117).
The present sheet appears to be a study for the upper part of a large altar piece, such as the Adoration of the Shepherds previously mentioned. The smooth and swift style of the drawing are characteristic for Casolani and it can be seen in a number of sheets in the Louvre (inv. 11348 and 1030; for the latter, see; M. Ciampolini, Drawing in Renaissance and Baroque Siena. 16th- and 17th- Century Drawings from Sienese Collections, exhib. cat., Athens, Georgia Museum of Art, 2002, p. 81, fig. 5).
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Executed on laid paper and not laid down. The sheet is generally good condition. It is fixed to its mount with two strips of tape at the upper edge of the verso. There are some further (remnants) of strips of tape at the verso. There are some small backed paper losses and there is a 1,5 cm tear in the lower edge. There a few small stains and there is some occasional surface dirt. The media remain generally strong.
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