By Martina Bollini

Painter Francesco Granacci died on 30 November 1543 in Florence. Born in 1469 in Villamagna Bagno a Ripoli (near Florence), Granacci trained alongside Michelangelo in the workshop of Domenico Ghirlandaio. Granacci then introduced him in the Medici garden at San Marco, where the two studied sculpture under the supervision of Bertoldo di Giovanni. Their long-lasting friendship culminated in 1508, when Granacci went to Rome in order to assist MIchelangelo in the Sistine Chapel.

Apart from this trip, Granacci was mainly active in Florence. Even if his oeuvre has not been unanimously reconstructed by scholars, we do know that, by 1504, Granacci was already an established master, as took part in the committee to decide on an appropriate site for David. This committee was formed by the most esteemed artists of the city, including Leonardo and Botticelli.

According to Vasari, Granacci often designed scenery and festive decorations for the Medici family and in 1515 he was employed in the “sumptuous and magnificent preparations” for the visit to Florence of pope Leo X. In the same year, the artist took part in the decoration of Pierfrancesco Borgherini bedroom, with Andrea del Sarto, Jacopo Pontormo, and Francesco Bachiaccha.

Granacci’s later works combine Mannerist innovations with more classical compositions, showing the influence of artists such as Fra Bartolomeo and Pietro Perugino.

Reference: M. Grasso, GRANACCI, Francesco, in Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 58 (2002)

Rest on the Flight into Egypt with the Infant Saint John the Baptist, c.1494, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin.

Joseph Conducted to Prison, c. 1515, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.

Portrait of a Man in Armour (attributed to), ca. 1510, National Gallery, London. The view includes Michelangelo’s David, unveiled on 8 September 1504.

Assumption of the Virgin, 1517-19, Ringling Museum of art, Sarasota.

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