Francesco Francia

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

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]

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 a Baptism of Christ in Lisbon.[4]

See also[edit]


  • Giorgio Vasari: Le vite dei più eccellenti architetti, pittori et scultori italiani, Florence 1568
  • George C. Williamson: Francesco Raibolini, called Francia, London 1901
  • Giuseppe Piazzi: Le Opere di Francesco Raibolini, detto il Francia, orefice e pittore. Azzoguidi, Bologna 1925
  • Emilio Negro, Nicosetta Roio: Francesco Francia e la sua scuola. Artioli Editore, Modena 1998, ISBN 8877920572
  • Sally Hickson: Giovanni Francesco Zaninello of Ferrara and the portrait of Isabella d'Este by Francesco Francia, Renaissance Studies Vol. 23 No. 3 (2009), S. 288–310

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Levinson:492
  2. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Gulbenkian Art Museum in Lisbon, Portugal.

External links[edit]