Francesco Furini

Baroque Master of Nudes

Hylas and the Nymphs, by Furini

From a poor Florentine family, Francesco Furini (1603-46) learned to draw from his father. Inspired by Caravaggio after a trip to Rome, he became known of his voluptuous sfumato nudes in both mythological and biblical paintings, which caused so much of a stir that in 1633 he became a priest, left the big city for a church in the Mugello and started painting like Guido Reni instead. These days most prefer his pre-priest works.

The Pitti holds some of his best works: Hylas and the Nymphs and his frescoes of the Platonic Academy of Careggi and the Allegory of the Death of Lorenzo the Magnificent in the Museo degli Argenti. Other works are in the Uffizi; he also contributed many of the monochromes on the life of Michelangelo in the Casa Buonarroti

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