Wine Jest

Baldassare Franceschiniabout 1640

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Volterrano depicts the priest and notorious prankster Arlotto Mainardi (1396-1488) performing a trick on his companions. They gather around a rustic table under a shady portico, with a sunlit villa in the background. Having been sent to the cellar to draw wine for the meal, Arlotto, anticipating that his share of food would be consumed while he is gone, leaves the barrel spigot open so that wine continues to gush to the floor. On his return, the prankster's upraised fist and playfully severe facial expression elicit varied reactions from the men at the table. Elaborately worked and squared so that it could be copied on to a canvas, the drawing served as a modello for one of Volterrano's most famous paintings, now in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence. The artist's contemporaries so admired the composition that they made numerous copies of it; however, the apparent humor in the scene may be lost on present-day viewers.

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  • Title: Wine Jest
  • Creator: Volterrano (Baldassare Franceschini)
  • Date: about 1640
  • Location Created: Italy
  • Physical Dimensions: 24 x 36.2 cm (9 7/16 x 14 1/4 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Red chalk and brush with red wash; squared in red chalk for transfer
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 96.GB.316
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: Italian
  • Classification: Drawings