Francesco Francia

Francesco Francia, whose real name was Francesco Raibolini (1447 – 5 January 1517) was an Italian painter, goldsmith, and medallist from Bologna, who was also director of the city mint.[1][2]

The Adoration of the Child by Francesco Raibolini (1500), at the Alte Pinakothek, Munich.

He may have trained with Marco Zoppo and was first mentioned as a painter in 1486. His earliest known work is the Felicini Madonna, which is signed and dated 1494. He worked in partnership with Lorenzo Costa, and was influenced by Ercole de' Roberti's and Costa's style, until 1506, when Francia became a court painter in Mantua, after which time he was influenced more by Perugino and Raphael. He himself trained Marcantonio Raimondi, Ludovico Marmitta,[3] and several other artists; he produced niellos, in which Raimondi first learnt to engrave, soon excelling his master, according to Vasari. Raphael's Santa Cecilia is supposed to have produced such a feeling of inferiority in Francia that it caused him to die of depression. However, as his friendship with Raphael is now well-known, this story has been discredited.

He died in Bologna. His sons Giacomo Francia and Giulio Francia were also artists. Among his works is the Baptism of Christ in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon.

Francesco francia, battesimo di cristo, bologna 1490

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  1. ^ Levinson:492
  2. ^ Mrs Jameson (December 29, 1866). "Lives of the Early Painters: Francesco Raibolini, Called Il Francia". The American Art Journal. 6 (10): 152–153. JSTOR 25306713.
  3. ^ Dizionario biografico dei Parmigiani illustri o benemeriti nelle scienze, nelle lettere, e nelle arti, by Giovanni Battista Janelli, Genoa, 1877, pages 241.


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