Floris, Francis

, a painter of history, was born at Antwerp in 1520, but practised the art of sculpture till he was twenty years of age, when he changed his profession, and studied painting under Lambert Lombard. He afterwards went to Rome, and copied the works of the ancients; but was particularly struck with the works of Michel Angelo Buonaroti, which he imitated with great zeal, particularly his Last Judgment; but, probably from want of a comprehensive genius, attended more to the parts than | die whole. Such was his success, however, in his general improved style of painting on his return to his native city, that it acquired for him the honourable appellation of the “Raphael of Flanders,” though his style of design is certainly more in imitation of M. Angelo than of Raphael. He painted for the contrafestivity hail of St. Michael, at Antwerp, a large picture, now at the Louvre, at Paris. The subject is, " The Fall of Lucifer and his Angels/' It is highly celebrated for the goodness of the composition and handling, for the variety of attitudes in the fallen angels, and for the strong expression of the muscles in the naked figures. In fact it is a very curious picture, painted with great capacity, and exhibits a powerful, though eccentric, imagination. The fiends in M. Angelo’s Last Judgment are not more horrible, or nearly so grotesque. The power of colour also is admirable, and in some parts has been rarely surpassed. He had a strong and bold manner, and, like his great model Buonaroti, marked the muscular parts too full for a just imitation of nature. He invented and composed with ease, but in a dry and gothic manner; and though sometimes his figures have an agreeable air, yet in general they possess a reprehensible degree of the stiffness and formality peculiar to the age and country he lived in. There are some etchings by him, which, though slight, are bold and spirited. He died in 1570, aged 50. 1


D’Argenville. Pilkington. —Strutt.