01 Work, RELIGIOUS ART – Interpretation of the bible, Francesco Furini’s GENEROSITY OR LIBERALITY, with Footnotes – #172

Francesco Furini, FLORENCE 1604 – 1646

Oil on canvas
122 x 92,4 cm ; 48 by 36 1/3 in
Private collection

LIBERALITY; broadness or fullness, as of proportions or physical attributes. One who is generous, bountiful, willing and ready to give and to help. 

There is measure in all things: Furini choses Horace’s maxim to evoke Generosity or Liberality. Personified as a nude woman, she leans upon the quotation from the Roman poet inscribed on a stone pedestal. Furini was inspired by the depiction of Generosity as defined by Cesare Ripa in his Iconology, who, in her right hand, ‘holds strings of jewels and pearls, displaying them as if offering them as gifts. More on this painting

Francesco Furini (c. 1600 (or 1603) – August 19, 1646) was an Italian Baroque painter of Florence, noted for his sensual sfumato style in paintings of both secular and religious subjects. He was born in Florence to an artistic family. Furini’s early training was by Matteo Rosselli. Traveling to Rome in 1619, he also would have been exposed to the influence of Caravaggio and his followers.
Furini’s work reflects the tension faced by the conservative, mannerist style of Florence when confronting then novel Baroque styles. He is a painter of biblical and mythological set-pieces with a strong use of the misty sfumato technique. In the 1630s his style paralleled that of Guido Reni.

Furini became a priest in 1633 for the parish of Sant’Ansano in Mugello.

Freedberg describes Furini’s style as filled with “morbid sensuality”. His frequent use of disrobed females is discordant with his excessive religious sentimentality, and his polished stylization and poses are at odds with his aim of expressing highly emotional states. His stylistic choices did not go unnoticed by more puritanical contemporary biographers like Baldinucci. Pignoni also mirrored this style in his works.

Furini traveled to Rome again in the year before his death in 1646. More on Francesco Furini 

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