The drawing depicts Saint John the Evangelist half-length turned left. He is holding a book: perhaps the Gospel. This study is a typical example of a Confortini’s graphics. The ductus, is very personal and easily recognizable for the vigorous chalk, the curly hair and spirited faces.
The painter, not mentioned by Baldinucci, is a recent conquest of scholars. In particular Christel and Gunther Thiem saw in him a sparkling designer and a weaker painter and they have published some connected drawings for the frescoes in S. Trinità in Florence, signed and dated 1631. The artist began his activity with a fresco for the Stanze of Cosimo II in the Casino Mediceo (1621-24). He concluded his artistic career with The Baptism of Christ in S. Stefano al Ponte, 1667.
Catherine Monbeig Goguel offered an important contribution in 1997 Note su Confortini in Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 1977, XXI, pp. 107 – 110. Drawings by Confortini are preserved in pubblic and private collections: in the Gabinetto delle Stampe di Roma Studio di due figure femminili (inv. F.C. 125077) and Studio di una figura femminile seduta (inv. F.C. 125702); in the Uffizi’s collections is preserved the beautiful Concerto, executed in pen and watercolours; on the English trade was offered a drawing with the same subject executed in red chalk from the de Boer Collection.
Our sheet is very similar to the study, in red chalk, of Two young men standing, published by Stanza del Borgo in 1998 (Il Bel Segno: Disegni dal XVI AL XIX Sec., n. 12).
S. Prosperi, Valenti Rodinò, Disegni fiorentini 1560-1630 dalle collezioni del Gabinetto Nazionale delle Stampe, exhibition catalogue, Rome, 1977, p. 59;
C. e G. Thiem, Der Zeichner Jacopo Confortini, in Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, XI, 1964, 2-3, pp. 183-165;
C. Thiem, Florentiner des Fruebarock, Munchen, 1977, pp. 361-364; C. e G. Thiem, Der Zeichner Jacopo Confortini, in Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz, XXIV, 1977, 1, pp. 79-102;
R. Contini, Biografia di Jacopo Confortini, in Il Seicento fiorentino, Biografie, exhibition catalogue, Florence, 1986-1987