Primaticcio, Francesco

Primaticcio, Francesco fränchās´kō prēmätēt´chō [key], 1504–70, Italian painter, called Le Primatice by the French. He was influenced by Correggio and by Michelangelo. As assistant to Giulio Romano in the frescoing of the Palazzo del Tè in Mantua, he adapted the master's methods of illusionism and mannerist idiom. In 1532, Francis I invited Primaticcio to participate in the decoration of the château at Fontainebleau. Working with Il Rosso on the fresco and stucco ornamentation, he became director of the whole project in 1540 upon Rosso's death. Only a few of Primaticcio's works at Fontainebleau survive. The most important scenes from the Odyssey in the Gallery of Ulysses have been destroyed. Many drawings for the project still exist (Louvre École des Beaux-Arts, Paris Chantilly and Vienna). He remained in the royal service under four successive monarchs, painting decorations for royal châteaus and other buildings, designing tomb monuments of Francis I and Henry II, and executing other architectural works. Primaticcio did much to extend the influence of Italian art in France.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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