Lanfranco (or Lanfranchi), Giovanni

Lanfranco (or Lanfranchi), Giovanni an eminent Italian painter, was born at Parma in 1581, and studied under Agostino Caracci. At the age of sixteen he painted a picture of the Virgin with Saints, which was greatly admired, and placed in the Church of San Agostino, at Piacenza. At the age of twenty he visited Rome, becoming the pupil of Annibale Caracci, who employed him in the Farnese palace, and in the Church of San Jago, where he executed a number of works. His fresco paintings in San Agostino, particularly his Assumption of the Virgin, were greatly admired. Among his other good works were, Moses Striking the Rock; Abraham Offering Isaac; and The Flight into Egypt. He procured the commission to paint the cupola of San Andrea della Valle. It was a wonderful work of art, and represented The Virgin seated in the clouds, surrounded with saints, and contemplating the figure of Christ, which is in the upper part of the picture. In 1646 he was invited to Naples to paint the cupola of the treasury at that place. He was employed by Urban VIII to paint a picture for the Church of St. Peter, representing that apostle walking on the sea. He died at Rome in 1647. There are a number of excellent plates by him, as follows: The Messengers of Moses Returning from the Land of Canatan; also a series of pictures of subjects from the Passion of Christ, for the chapel of the Crucifix. See Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, s.v.; Spooner, Biog. Hist. of the Fine Arts, s.v.

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