(b. 1548, Cambrai, d. 1615, Paris)


Marble, over life-size
Musei di Strada Nuova, Palazzo Bianco, Genoa

After a brief period in Paris, in 1566 Francavilla moved to Insbruck, where he worked for five or six years. Here he attracted the notice of the Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol, by whom he was sent to Italy to study with Giambologna. He rapidly became Giambologna's principal assistant, travelling with him to Genoa in 1579. In Genoa he carved a pair of colossal statues of Janus and Jupiter (signed and dated 1585) for the Palazzo Grimaldi.

Francavilla learned in Florence that splayed fingers, nearly impossible to make on their own, could be achieved by placing something in the figure's hand: the keys in his Janus, served as attributes, but they also liberated the sculptor to arrange hands in nearly any way that occurred to him.