FRANCIA, Francesco
(b. 1450, Bologna, d. 1517, Bologna)


Francia (Francesco Raibolini), the outstanding Bolognese painter of his period, originally a goldsmith. He entered into a partnership with Lorenzo Costa after the latter came to Bologna c.1483 and was later influenced also by Perugino.. His most characteristic works are sweet, softly rounded Madonnas, which his large workshop produced in some numbers. He was also an accomplished portraitist. There are several examples of his work in the National Gallery, London.

Before their fall, the Bentivoglio, rulers of Bologna, helped to fund frescoes for the oratory of St Cecilia, next to their parish church, San Giacomo Maggiore. The most prominent local artists of the period were involved, notably Francesco Francia, Lorenzo Costa and Tiziano Aspetti, and each appears to have contributed two frescoes.