Baldovinetti,1 1425-1499.--Alesso Baldovinetti, a pupil of Domenico Veneziano, and perhaps an assistant of Fra Angelico, is distinctly of the transition. Sometimes he is surprisingly archaic, as in the awkward but fascinating Trinity of the Florence Academy. Sometimes he is almost modern, as in the fresco of the Nativity in the SS. Annunziata. In the same painting he is both mediæval and naturalistic. His chief quality is a cheerful, personal temperament, limited by a want of variety and ease, and without high emotion. In some early work he shows atmospheric lightness of tone that Domenico had taught him;2 and if later he loses this and becomes dull, there is always the unfailing charm of the artist's obvious delight in his craft, his faithful and delicate execution, his agreeable suggestion and, in spite of a certain want of largeness of style, something of the vitality which we find in his great pupil Verrocchio. The____________________
A good deal of Baldovinetti's work is well authenticated. Much has been added by the researches of archivists like Mr. Herbert Horne, and the connoisseurship of experts like Mr. Berenson. For the master's intimate style, study The Virgin Adoring the Infant Jesus, Louvre, attrib. to P. d. Francesca; Portrait of a Lady, London, attrib. to Uccello by Morelli Richter, ltal. Art in the Nat. Gall., p. 17, and B. B., Lists; to Baldovinetti by Fry, in whose opinion we concur. Three exquisite panels, 1448, Florentine Acad.--Marriage of Cana, Baptism (prototype of Verrocchio Baptism), and Transfiguration (see B. B., Study and Criticism of Italian Art, II, 29)--belong to a series, the rest of which are from Fra Angelico's atelier, attrib. unquestioned by modern experts, painted when Baldovinetti was twenty-one, and when he was perhaps working as an assistant to Fra Angelico, very beautiful as painting, but not in Fra Angelico's style, unless in delicacy and finish. The large scale of his more important works, especially late, seems to induce a dry method of execution and some hardness of drawing.