Francesco Furini: “Paintings of Exceeding Beauty” in Seicento Florence
Francesco Furini, one of the most intriguing artists to emerge from Seicento Florence, is primarily remembered for his depictions of the female nude. A discussion of his use of the model and citation of antique sculpture will reveal insight into the relative eroticism of Furini’s mythological and devotional works. It will be argued that Furini used citations of sculpture in an attempt to desexualize scenes with potentially erotic connotations. Simultaneously, he worked to alleviate the “hardness” that came to be negatively associated with the concept of “statuino” during this period through a use of a painterly technique that synthesized the artistic interests of various Italian cities. Conversely, Furini’s devotional works become more erotically charged due to the more visible presence of the model. A discussion of Furini and his works offers valuable insight into the role of the female model and sculpture in Seicento Florentine artistic culture.
Estelle Lingo, Chair