Attributed to Alessandro Casolani (Siena 1552-1606)
The Virgin and Child on a cloud flanked by two angels and putti
with number '38' (verso)
graphite, pen and brown ink, brown wash, fragmentary watermark circle
734 x 11 in. (19.7 x 27.8 cm)

Professor Michael Jaffé, and by inheritance to the present owners.
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Lot Essay

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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