(b. 1603, San Gimignano, d. 1660, Firenze)


Italian painter, called il Riposo. His most original works were easel pictures, for private collectors, often of cruel and violent subjects, which he interpreted with a morbid sensuality and ambiguous tenderness. He was brought to Florence when very young by the collector Conte Alberto Bardi (d 1632), who arranged for him to study with Jacopo da Empoli and to copy works by Andrea del Sarto. Ficherelli's clear compositions and luminous drapery, which remain evident throughout his career, reflect this training.

In the early 1630s he was attracted by the delicate sfumato effects of Francesco Furini and developed a style close to that of Cecco Bravo; his works of this period include the Sacrifice of Isaac (private collection) and the Martyrdom of St Agatha (private collection). There followed in the late 1630s Tarquin and Lucretia, which is known in several versions (e.g. Rome, Accademia S. Luca), the theatrical Julia Receiving the Bloodstained Garments of Pompey (private collection), an Allegory of Patience (private collection) and Antiochus and Stratonica (Auckland, City Art Gallery). His altarpieces of the 1650s, among them the Vision of St Filippo Neri (1657-59; Florence, Certosa del Galluzzo, Pinacoteca), are his only securely dated works and return to the clarity of Empoli, while his last works, such as Lot and his Daughters (Dublin, National Gallery), are characterized by a new softness and freedom. His nickname, il Riposo, derived from his retiring nature.