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Dear catholic.com visitors: This website from Catholic Answers, with all its many resources, is the world's largest source of explanations for Catholic beliefs and practices. A fully independent, lay-run, 501(c)(3) ministry that receives no funding from the institutional Church, we rely entirely on the generosity of everyday people like you to keep this website going with trustworthy , fresh, and relevant content. If everyone visiting this month gave just $1, catholic.com would be fully funded for an entire year. Do you find catholic.com helpful? Please make a gift today. Thank you. Wishing you a blessed Lenten season.

Giovanni Battista Franco

Italian historical painter and etcher, b. at Udine in 1510; d. at Venice in 1580

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Franco, GIOVANNI BATTISTA (frequently known as IL SEMOLEI), Italian historical painter and etcher, b. at Udine in 1510; d. at Venice in 1580. He studied in Rome, giving special attention to the works of Michelangelo, and taking great interest in designing allegorical decorations on a large scale. He worked with Vasari in carrying out some decorative work in a pal-ace for Ottaviano de’ Medici, but is better known for his portraits of the Medici family, which were, however, to a great extent copies from the works of other men. His designs for majolica were of importance and were executed for the Duke of Urbino; but perhaps he is better remembered for his etchings, of which there are over a hundred, than for any other works. He is said to have been instructed in the art of etching by Marc’ Antonio, and his plates are marked B. F. V. F. (Battista Franco Venetus Fecit). They are not particularly attractive, as their execution is somewhat mechanical, but there is a certain light and easy spirit about them by which they can be recognized. About half the number are original works, the others being derived from paintings by Raphael, Titian, and others.

GEORGE CHARLES WILLIAMSON.


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