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Francesco Francia (1450-1517)  Federigo Gonzaga, 1510  Tempera on wood, transferred  wood to canvas and then again to wood, 1510  Overall 18 7/8 x 14 in. (47.9 x 35.6 cm), painted surface 17 3/4 x 13 1/2 in. (45.1 x 34.3 cm)  Metropolitan Museum of Ar
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Title: Federigo Gonzaga
Description:
Francesco Francia (1450-1517)
Federigo Gonzaga (15001540)
Tempera on wood, transferred from wood to canvas and then again to wood, 1510
Overall 18 7/8 x 14 in. (47.9 x 35.6 cm), painted surface 17 3/4 x 13 1/2 in. (45.1 x 34.3 cm)
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA

In July 1510, the ten-year-old Federigo Gonzaga was sent from Mantua to Rome as a hostage. On his way to Rome, he stopped in Bologna, Francia astounded everyone by painting and delivering this jewel-like portrait in twelve days. The picture was subsequently taken to Rome for the admiration of the papal court and was only reluctantly returned to Isabella d'Este, Federigo's mother.

The format is one commonly used by the artistthe bust-length figure is set behind a parapet, with one hand visible and a sweeping landscape behind. Given the time constraints under which he was working, Francia wisely kept the depiction rather simple: there are bold contrasts between the boy's dark costume, the green of the landscape and foliage, and the blue of the far distance. The artist, originally trained as a goldsmith, has captured the gleam of the boy's gold necklace and the hilt of his sword. Most remarkably, however, he has captured the tender expressiveness of the boy's face.

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Francesco Francia (1450-1517)  Madonna and Child with the Infant St John the Baptist  Panel, 1500  22 3/8 x 17 1/8 inches (57 x 43.7 cm)  Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, HungaryFrancesco Francia (1450-1517)  Federigo Gonzaga, 1510  Tempera on wood, transferred  wood to canvas and then again to wood, 1510  Overall 18 7/8 x 14 in. (47.9 x 35.6 cm), painted surface 17 3/4 x 13 1/2 in. (45.1 x 34.3 cm)  Metropolitan Museum of ArFrancesco Francia (1450-1517)  Crucifixion  Panel, 1500  Private collection
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