About this artwork

Typically for Franco, many of the figures in this lively drawing were adapted from well known works by other masters that he admired. The soldier in the foreground that points to the risen Christ was derived from one of the figures in the fresco of the Battle of Milvian Bridge, which was executed by Raphael’s workshop in the Vatican. Franco’s figure of Christ shows his awareness of Francesco Salviati’s Resurrection fresco in Santa Maria dell’Anima (Rome), which was unveiled in 1550. Franco’s design must, therefore, date from after then. This spirited drawing was subsequently reproduced by Franco as a print that he etched himself. All the prints that Franco made using etching alone date to his last years in Venice.

Battista Franco

Battista Franco

Although born in Venice, Franco was in Rome by the time he was twenty. There he made drawings after the Antique treasures that filled the city, but he also fell under the spell of Michelangelo and made numerous drawings after the master’s work. In addition to being a fine draughtsman, Franco was also an accomplished painter and printmaker. He often produced prints of his own designs using either etching or engraving, or sometimes a combination of both. Much of his career was spent in Rome and Urbino, but around 1552 he returned to Venice where he lived for the last decade of his life. He is sometimes known by the nickname ‘Il Semolei’.