Francesco Simonini (Parma, 1686 – Venice, 1735).
Ink and watercolor on paper.
This mixed technique on paper is a valuable example of a preparatory sketch by an important Venetian battle painter of the early eighteenth century. Francesco Simonini was born and trained in Parma in the workshop of Francesco Monti known as the Brescianino delle Battaglie, but the constructions of his compositions are also affected by the wide views crowded with fights between knights by Ilario Mercanti, known as Spolverini.
He settled in Venice and there he became the most famous representative of the genre, obtaining important commissions such as those of one of the most famous collectors of contemporary Venetian painting, Count Johann Matthias von der Schulenburg.
The painter also spent some years between Florence, Rome and Bologna, before moving to Venice where he worked for other important clients: the Piccolomini in Florence, Cardinal Ruffo in Bologna and various knights and cardinals in Rome. Understanding which phase of its production this drawing belongs to is not a simple task: what we can say with certainty is that it is a piece of great quality which, alongside the vagueness of the landscape and the architecture of the background, alternates the precise design, vibrant, nervous, strongly expressive; characteristics that we also find in his pictorial production.
Bibl .: G. Sestieri, ‘The painters of battles, Italian and foreign masters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries’, Rome 1999, pp. 456-479
Our reference: A03646