* 1505 Bologna
† 1570 Paris
Francesco Primaticcio, who is also known as Francesco Bologna, Primadizzi or Le Primatice, is regarded one of the main representatives of Italian Mannerism, but also of French Mannerism, notably the first generation of the School of Fontainebleau.
In 1505 Francesco Primaticcio was born at Bologna, where he received lessons in art from artists such as Innocenzo da Imola and B. Bagnacavallo. As of 1525 or 1526 Francesco Primaticcio (Primadizzi) was active at Mantua and worked with Giulio Romano on the Palazzo del Te.
It is owed to the close contact with Giulio Romano that Francesco Primaticcio was able to go to Fontainebleau in 1532, where he first worked as assistant of Rosso Fiorentino. After his death in 1540, Francesco Primaticcio was put in charge of the castle's embellishment. Soon Francesco Primaticcio (Le Primatice) became one of France's leading painters and decoration artists. In 1559 Francesco Primaticcio (Francesco Bologna) was appointed "Surintendant des bâtiments du Roi" and initiated the "Hôtel de Nesle" in Paris, where he employed several assistants.
Francesco Primaticcio's mannerist style, which became unfold in many genres, was based on ancient art and Raphael's painting and is close to works by Parmigianino, Giulio Romano or Rosso Fiorentino. His paintings strongly focus on the human figure. With great poise he plays on shifting of perspective and proportion as well as on elongations, showing a gracile-erotic, strongly refined overall conception. Next to painting, Francesco Primaticcio (Le Primatice) also made great achievements in mannerist stucco decorations.
In 1570 Francesco Primaticcio died at Paris.