Italian High Renaissance Painter, 1484-1525
Italian painter. The son of a Milanese linen-weaver, he had completed his apprenticeship, in Florence, by 18 October 1504. His earliest documented works, for example a Piete (1506) for S Pancrazio, Florence, have not survived. According to Vasari, Franciabigio trained with Mariotto Albertinelli, in whose last work, the signed and dated Crucifixion (1506; Florence, Certosa del Galluzzo, Pin.), he painted the angels (Shearman). In December 1508 the names of Franciabigio and Andrea del Sarto, who sometime between autumn 1506 and 1509 set up a joint workshop, were entered in the registration book of the Arte de' Medici e Speziali, to which painters were required to belong. The Portrait of a Young Man (Paris, Louvre) dates from this period. The work, which was later enlarged, shows the subject half-length, leaning pensively against a balustrade, with strong areas of shadow around the eyes. This is the first in a series of male portraits typical of Franciabigio: the subjects, each of whom wears a hat, are mostly placed in front of a landscape, with their gaze fixed meditatively or piercingly on the onlooker. The religious works from this period, such as the Virgin and Child (1509; Rome, Pal. Barberini), also show a movement away from the style of Albertinelli and Raffaellino del Garbo and begin to reveal instead the influence of Leonardo, Michelangelo and, especially, Raphael. Yet Franciabigio's connection with Andrea del Sarto was the determining factor in his career. When in 1509 it was del Sarto who received the commission to complete the fresco cycle in the atrium of SS Annunziata, Florence, their relationship altered significantly.