Francesca, Pietro Della

, commonly called Fran­Cesco Dal Borgo A San Sepolcro, a painter of considerable renown, was born at Borgo in Umbria, in 1372. In his youth he studied the mathematics; but at fifteen years of age determined on being a painter, when he was patronised by Gindobaldo Fettro, duke of Urbino. He did not, however, so completely devote his time to painting as to neglect his former studies, but wrote several essays on geometry and perspective, which were long preserved in the duke’s^ library at Urbino. He afterwards painted in Pesara, Ancona, and Ferrara; but few of his works remain at either of these places. Having obtained much reputation, he was sent for to Rome by pope Nicholas V. to paint two historical subjects in the chambers of the Vatican, in concurrence with Bramante di Milano, called Bramantino; but Julius II. destroyed these to make room for Raphael’s Miracle of Bolsena, and St. Peter in Prison. Notwithstanding this degradation of his labours, before the superior powers of Raphael, he was very deserving of esteem, if the account which Vasari gives of him be true, and we consider the imperfect state of the art at the time in which he lived. He exhibited much know­* " This learned academician was into the form of a memoir, and preunable to persuade himself that anti- sentrd it to ths academy of in.seripquity, o enlightened, and so ingenious tions and belles lettres, in 1716. M.

in the cultivation of the fine arts, tould Burette acquaints us that this abbé

hare been igmorant of the union of learned to play on the harpsichord at

different parts, in their concerts of an advanced age, and concluding that

voices and instruments, which he calls the ancients, to whom he generously

* the most perfect and sublime part of gave all good things, could not do

music' and thinking that he had hap- without counterpoint, made them a

pily discovered, in a passage -of Plato, present of that harmony, with which

an indubitable and decisive proof of his aged ears were so p!eased."-r-By

the ancients having possessed the art Dr. Burney, in Rees’s Cyclopædia. counterpoint, he drew up his opinion | ledge of anatomy, feeling of expression, and of distribution of light and shade. The principal work of Franceses was a night scene, in which he represented an angel carrying a cross, and appearing in vision to the emperor Constantine sleeping in his tent with his chamberlain near him, and some of his soldiers. The light which issued from the cross and the angel illuminated the scene, and was spread over it with the utmost discretion. Every thing appeared to have been studied from nature, and was executed with great propriety and truth. He also painted a battle, which was highly commended for the spirit and fire with which it was conducted; the strength of the expression, and the imitation of nature; particularly a groupe of horsemen, which, Vasari says, “considering the period, cannot be too highly commended.

Having exercised the various talents nature had bestowed upon him till he was eighty-six years old, he died in 1458.1


Vasari.—Pilkington.—Rees’s Cyclopædia.