11 Facts About Baccio Baldini


All that is known of Baccio Baldini's life, apart from the date of his burial in Florence, is what Vasari says of him: that Baccio Baldini was a goldsmith and pupil of Maso Finiguerra, the Florentine goldsmith who was, according to Vasari's incorrect claim, the inventor of engraving.

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Vasari says Baccio Baldini based all of his works on designs by Sandro Botticelli because he lacked disegno himself.

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Today Baccio Baldini is best remembered for his collaboration with Botticelli on the first printed Dante in 1481, where it is believed the painter supplied the drawings for Baccio Baldini to turn into engravings, but it does not seem to be the case that all his work was after Botticelli.

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Baccio Baldini has long been attributed with a number of other engravings as the leading practitioner of the Florentine Fine Manner of engraving, this rather tentatively; he is often given a "workshop" or "circle" to ease uncertainty.

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Hugo Chapman points out that there is "no contemporary reference to Baccio Baldini making prints" at all, and Vasari was writing almost a century after his career is supposed to have begun.

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Baccio Baldini appears to have not only introduced to Florence the German-style burin with a lozenge-shaped section that the technique requires, but to have subsequently reinvented his technique.

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Unfortunately Baccio Baldini was neither very experienced nor talented as an engraver, and was unable to express the delicacy of Botticelli's style in his plates.

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Apart from a general stylistic similarity to the prints attributed to Baccio Baldini, there are some specific borrowings, or use of a common source.

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Baccio Baldini is attributed with a set of 24 Prophets and 12 Sibyls, all shown seated at full-length, with verses underneath, copied by Francesco Rosselli and others, and a series of The Planets.

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Engravings by Baccio Baldini were published in 1477 illustrating Monte Santo di Dio, a religious work by Antonio Bettini, printed by Nicolaus Laurentii.

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Baccio Baldini did the first of a series on the Triumphs of Petrarch; the rest are by the Master of the Vienna Passion.

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