Francesco del Cossa

Elegant Early Renaissance Master

Pala dei Mercanti, by Francesco del Cossa

Francesco del Cossa (1436–78) was an early protagonist of the Ferrarese school, influenced by miniaturists and his teacher, Cosmè Tura. His best-known work is his contribution to the frescoes of the Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara – original, energetic and good-humoured.

Miffed at being paid by the square foot, he went to Bologna and worked for the Bentivoglio. His most important works there (the Griffoni altarpiece) were sadly later lost or broken up. The best survivor is the Pala dei Mercanti (Madonna with SS. Petronius and John) in the Palazzo d'Accursio; he also has a Madonna and Saints in the Pinacoteca Nazionale and he designed the circular stained glass window of St John of Patmos in San Giovanni in Monte.

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