FRANCIA (c. 1450-1517) , a Bolognese painter, whose real name wasFrancesco Raibolini, his
See also:father being Marco di Giacomo Raibolini, a
See also:carpenter, descended from an old and creditable
See also:family, was
See also:born at Bologna about 1450 . He was apprenticed to a goldsmith currently named Francia, and from him probably he got the
See also:nickname whereby he is generally known; he more-over studied design under Marco Zoppo . The youth was thus originally a goldsmith, and also an engraver of
See also:dies and niellos, and in these arts he became extremely eminent . He was particularly famed for his dies for medals; he
See also:rose to be mint-
See also:master at Bologna, and retained that
See also:office till the end of his
See also:life . A famous medal of
See also:Julius II. as liberator of Bologna is ascribed to his
See also:hand, but not with certainty . As a type-founder he made for Aldus
See also:Manutius the first
See also:italic type . At a mature age—having first, it appears, become acquainted with Mantegna—he turned his
See also:attention to
See also:painting . His earliest known picture is dated 1494 (not 1490, as ordinarily stated) . It shows so much mastery that one is compelled to believe that Raibolini must before then have practised painting for some few years . This
See also:work is now in the Bologna gallery,—the " Virgin enthroned, with Augustine and five other
See also:saints." It is an oil picture, and was originally painted for the
See also:church of S . Maria
See also:delta Misericordia, at the
See also:desire of the Bentivoglio family, the rulers of Bologna . The same patrons employed him upon frescoes in their own palace; one of "
See also:Judith and Holophernes " is especially noted, its
See also:style recalling that of
See also:Mantegna .
Francia probably studied likewise the
See also:works of
See also:Perugino; and he became a friend and ardent admirer of
See also:Raphael, to whom he addressed an enthusiastic sonnet . Raphael cordially responded to the Bolognese master's admiration, and said, in a
See also:letter dated in 1508, that few painters or none had produced Madonnas more beautiful, more devout, or better portrayed than those of Francia . If we may
See also:trust Vasari—but it is difficult to suppose that he was entirely correct—the exceeding value which Francia set on Raphael's
See also:art brought him to his
See also:grave . Raphael had consigned to Francia his famous picture of " St
See also:Cecilia," destined for the church of S . Giovanni in
See also:Monte, Bologna; and Francia, on inspecting it, took so much to heart his own inferiority; at the advanced age of about sixty-six, to the youthful Umbrian, that he sickened and shortly expired on the 6th of
See also:January 1517 . A contemporary record, after attesting his pre-
See also:eminence as a goldsmith, jeweller and painter, states that he was " most hand-some in
See also:person and highly eloquent." Distanced though he may have been by Raphael,
See also:Francis is rightly regarded as the greatest painter of the earlier Bolognese school, and hardly to be surpassed as representing the art termed " antico-moderno," or of the " quattrocento:" It has been well observed that his style is a
See also:medium between that of Perugino and that of Giovanni Bellini; he has somewhat more of spontaneous
See also:naturalism than the former, and of abstract dignity in feature and
See also:form than the latter . The magnificent portrait in the Louvre of a
See also:young man in black, of brooding thoughtfulness and saddened profundity of
See also:mood, would alone suffice to place Francia among the very
See also:great masters, if it could with confidence be attributed to his hand, but in all probability its real author was
See also:Franciabigio; it had erewhile passed under the name of Raphael, of Giorgione, or of Sebastian del Piombo . The
See also:National Gallery,
See also:London, contains two remarkably
See also:fine specimens of Francia, once combined together as
See also:principal picture and lunette,—the " Virgin" and "
See also:Child and St Anna " enthroned, surrounded by saints; and (in the lunette) the " Pieta," or lamentation of angels over the dead Saviour . They come from the Buonvisi
See also:chapel in the church of S . Frediano, Lucca, and were among the master's latest paintings . Other leading works are—in
See also:Munich, the Virgin " sinking on her knees in adoration of the Divine
See also:Infant, who is lying in a
See also:garden within a rose trellis; in the
See also:Borghese gallery, Rome, a
See also:Martyr; in Bologna, the frescoes in the church of St Cecilia, illustrating the life of the
See also:saint, all of them from the design of Raibolini, but not all executed by himself . His landscape backgrounds are of uncommon excellence .
Francia had more than 200 scholars .
See also:Marcantonio Raimondi, the famous engraver, is the most renowned of them; next to him Amico Aspertini, and Francia's own son Giacomo, and his
See also:cousin Julio . Lorenzo
See also:Costa was much associated with Francia in pictorial work . Among the authorities as to the life and work of Francia may be mentioned J . A.
See also:Calvi, Memorie delta vita di Francesco Raibolini (1812), and especially G . C .
See also:Williamson, Francia (two) . (W . M .
FRANCHISE (from 0. Fr. franchise, freedom, franc, f...
JOSE GASPAR RODRIGUEZ FRANCIA (c. 1757-1840)
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