- Primaticcio, Francesco
born April 30, 1504, Bologna, Emiliadied 1570, Paris, FranceItalian-born French painter, sculptor, and architect.In 1532 Francis I invited him to help redecorate the Fontainebleau Palace, and Primaticcio became one of the principal artists in France; he remained there the rest of his life, making only brief trips to Italy. His decorative style in painting and stucco sculpture stressed the human figure; the exaggerated musculature and active, elongated forms of his figures greatly influenced 16th-century French art. One of the first artists in France to replace religious themes with those of Classical mythology, he brought a quiet French elegance to Italian Mannerism.
* * *▪ Italian painteralso called Bologna, Le Primatice, or Primadizziborn April 30, 1504, Bologna, Emilia [Italy]died 1570, Paris, Fr.Italian Mannerist painter, architect, sculptor, and leader of the first school of Fontainebleau (Fontainebleau, school of).Primaticcio studied with Giulio Romano and assisted him in his work on the decorations of the Palazzo del Te in Mantua. When the French king Francis I invited Romano to assist in the redecoration of the Fontainebleau Palace in 1532, Romano sent Primaticcio in his place, and, once there, Primaticcio became one of the principal artists in France.In his initial work at Fontainebleau, Primaticcio employed a decorative style that combined stucco work and mural painting. He returned to Rome for a couple of years to purchase artworks for Francis I, and on his return he decorated the Cabinet du Roi with a series of paintings, now lost, that flouted rational perspective in painting and stressed the primacy of the human figure. Primaticcio's stylistic use of exaggerated musculature and active, elongated figures in these works was to exert great influence on French painting for the remainder of the 16th century.In 1543 Primaticcio completed a number of decorations for the bedchamber of the Duchesse d'Étampes (Étampes, Anne de Pisseleu, duchesse d'); all of these works survive. During this period he also completed work on the Galerie d'Ulysse (1541–70) and the Salle de Bal (or Galerie Henri II). The former was completely destroyed under Louis XV, and the latter has been heavily restored. Primaticcio increased his use of foreshortening and illusionistic treatment of subjects in his later work. His design for the ceiling of the chapel of the Hotel de Guise in Paris (1557) was to be the artist's last major work. For the last decade of his life, Primaticcio collaborated with the sculptor Germain Pilon (Pilon, Germain) on the tomb of Henry II in the abbey church of St. Denis near Paris. In his decorations Primaticcio was one of the first artists in France to replace religious themes with those of classical mythology. He subdued the violence of Italian Mannerism, investing it with a quiet and characteristic French elegance.
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