DOLCI, Carlo
(b. 1616, Firenze, d. 1686, Firenze)

Biography

He was the leading painter in Florence in the mid-17th century, and an exponent of the restrained style of Late Baroque comparable with Sacchi's Roman works. Dolci was extremely precocious and one of his finest pictures is the portrait, painted when he was 16, of Fra Ainolfo dei Bardi (1632, Florence, Pitti). Nevertheless, he later became very neurotic and felt himself to be professionally inadequate. Most of his later works are small devotional pictures often painted on copper in an extremely finicky and detailed manner. When Giordano was in Florence in 1682 he said jokingly that his own virtuoso style had brought him a fortune of 150,000 scudi, but that by spending so much time on his works Dolci would starve; an idea that preyed on Dolci's mind.

One of his best works is the Martyrdom of St Andrew of 1646 (Florence, Pitti), for which there is a sketch of 1643 in Birmingham. There are also two splendid portraits in Cambridge (Fitzwilliam Museum). Other works are in Glasgow, London (National Gallery, Victoria and Albert Museum, Wallace Collection. and Dulwich) and Oxford.