The Goddess Flora circa 1630
Oil on canvas
An oil on canvas of the goddess Flora, attributed to the Florentine School painter, Francesco Furini.
Flora was a popular vehicle for female portraiture in 17thc. Often the sitter will be shown holding a posy of flowers or fruit and her hair is sometimes garlanded.
Rembrandt's portraits of his wife Saskia in this role are well known.
In Venitian painting the portraits are very often of comely prostitutes.
Original antique condition, Canvas has 19thc reline. Surface is unrestored, full detail and glazes are intact.
The eminent painter Francesco Furini is described by Lanzi as "the Guido and Albano of the Florentine school".
Furini was the son of a respectable portrait painter, born at Florence in 1604, and was first instructed by his father.
He studied under Passignano and Roselli; and on leaving their schools, visited Rome, where the works of Guido were so much the objects of his admiration, that he attached himself to an attentive study of them, rather as a rival than an imitator.
Of his large works in the churches, the most admired are at Borgo S. Lorenzo, Near Florence, representing St. Francis receiving the Stigmata and the Conception of the Virgin.
But he acquired the high reputation in which he is held, by his admirable easel pictures, which are found in the first collections in Florence, and are in the highest estimation.
He drew with elegance and correctness particularly the delicate forms of women and children, and he generally made choice of these subjects in which they could be introduced with the happiest effect.
Such is his picture of the Three Graces, in the Palazzo Strozzi; and that of the Nymphs carried off by Satyrs, in the Casa Galli.
Lanzi observes that he sometimes painted Magdalenes which were not much more veiled than his Nymphs.
This elegant artist died in the prime of his life, in 1646. (Zani places his death in 1649)
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