One hundred and seven sketches and watercolours from the personal collection of Carlo Pineider have been donated to the Uffizi Galleries’ Department of Prints and Drawings.
The collector is heir to the Pineider luxury brand, renowned producers of perfumes and fountain pens. The gift to the Uffizi includes 25 watercolours by one of his favourite artists, Simone Cantarini (1612-48).
The other 82 donations date from the early 1500s to the late 1700s. Tuscan artists predominate, but Roman, Emilian and Venetian artists are also present. Most of them consist of preliminary sketches or ideas, but the papers contain a number of complete and standalone works too.
Palma il Giovane, Portrait of his wife
Some of the designs can claim authors of great renown, such as six sketches by Baldassarre Franceschini (1611-90, usually known as Volterrano). Others are the work of more obscure artists, familiar only to experts and highly sought by collectors. The autograph by the 18th-century Friulian painter Francesco Zamolo, for instance, is an extremely rare find.
“This is without a doubt one of the most important donations of recent decades,” commented Laura Donati and Donatella Fratini, coordinator and drawings curator of the Uffizi’s Department of Prints and Drawings, respectively. “Not only for the good condition of the works themselves, but also because some of them can be counted as major works in the corpus of their respective artists.”