FERRUCCI, Francesco di Simone
(b. 1437, Fiesole d. 1493, Firenze)

Biography

Italian sculptor, member of a family of artists. Francesco was probably trained by his father, Simone di Nanni Ferrucci (b. 1402), and was decisively influenced by Desiderio da Settignano and Andrea del Verrocchio. Vasari named him among the pupils of Verrocchio, and it is possible that in the 1470s he assisted the master. He matriculated in the Arte dei Maestri di Pietra e di Legname, the Florentine sculptors' guild, in 1463 and established a workshop in Florence in 1466. By 1470, when he first submitted a catasto (land registry declaration), he was married and owned a house in Florence.

Between 1460 and 1466 Francesco was employed making decorative carvings for the Badia at Fiesole, and from 1467 to 1478 he worked with his brother Bernardo Ferrucci (b. 1447) at the convent of Santissima Annunziata, Florence.

Other documents record payments to Francesco for the execution of a holy water stoup (1466) for Santa Maria in Peretola, near Florence (in situ); the carving of the tomb of Lemmo Balducci (fragments, Florence, San Egidio) for the hospital of San Matteo, Florence (probably 1471-72), of which Balducci was the founder, and five columns for an altar in the hospital (1472); the execution of an indeterminable work for Prato Cathedral (1476); architectural carving in San Petronio, Bologna (1480); the delivery of a Holy Sacrament tabernacle that he made for the Sisters of Santa Maria di Monteluce, outside Perugia (1483; in situ); and the execution of a marble ciborium on commission from Cardinal Carlo de' Medici for Prato Cathedral (1487).

A single signed work by Francesco exists: the marble tomb of Alessandro Tartagni (Bologna, San Domenico), who died in 1477. This demonstrates that by the late 1470s Francesco's figure and drapery style had changed markedly under the influence of Verrocchio.

A group of sheets (divided between museums in Berlin, Chantilly, Dijon, Hamburg, London, New York and Paris), for the most part of about the same size and nearly all with sketches on both sides, once known as the 'Verrocchio Sketchbook', is generally regarded as from a sketchbook by Francesco and his workshop.