Francesco Furini


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(b Florence, 10 Apr. 1603; d Florence, 19 Aug. 1646). One of the leading Florentine painters of his period. He specialized in morbidly sensual pictures involving female nudes. In their idealization of the figure they show the influence of Reni, but they have a distinctive dark, brooding atmosphere. Rudolf Wittkower writes that Furini's ‘highly sophisticated, over-refined’ work has ‘a sweetish, sickly flavour, but nobody can deny that he had a special gift for rendering the melodious calligraphy of the female body’. In 1633 Furini became a priest, the result of a crisis of conscience that led him to paint nothing but religious themes for a while. Even in his religious works, however, he showed his love of female beauty (Lot and his Daughters, c.1634, Prado, Madrid). Furini's pictures are usually fairly small and aimed at the private collector. In a very different vein, however, he painted two imposing allegorical frescos on Medici history (1636–7) in the Pitti Palace.

From The Oxford Dictionary of Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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