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Pauwels Franck, Paolo Fiammingo


Landscape with a Scene of Enchantment

Landscape with the Expulsion of the Harpies

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Featured Art - Landscape with a Scene of Enchantment by Paolo Fiammingo

Landscape with a...

Pauwels Franck known in Italy as Paolo Fiammingo and Paolo dei Franceschi (c. 1540 - 1596), was a Flemish painter, mainly of landscapes with mythological and religious scenes, who was active in Venice for most of his life.


He was likely born c. 1540 but his birthplace is not known. He became a member of the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1561. He is recorded in Venice from 1573 but was likely an assistant in Tintoretto’s workshop there already in the 1560s. He worked in Venice for the rest of his career.[1] He opened a successful studio in Venice, which received commissions from all over Europe.[2]


He painted landscapes with religious scenes but is mainly known for his mythological scenes. The latter were inspired by Giorgione but were treaded by Franck with a Venetian softness and grace and set in dreamlike landscapes. These landscapes anticipate the Italianate Flemish school later associated with Paul Bril and Jan Brueghel the Elder. A good example is the Landscape with the Expulsion of the Harpies (National Gallery London, 1592–6).[2]

Between 1580 and 1592 he painted twelve works depicting The Four Ages of Man for the Fugger family for their new Castle Kirchheim in Württemberg.[1] These paintings remained united for a long time and were photographed at the end of the 19th century. The photos are an important source for understanding the work of Franck. The Fugger collection became dispersed and some of the works have appeared recently at auctions.[3][4]

His masterpieces are the four Allegories of Love (Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna, c. 1585), including the Amore letheo, the Punishment of Love, Reciprocated Love and Love in the Golden Age. These last two works became rapidly known through prints made by Agostino Carracci.[2] It has been suggested that Carracci's reproduction of Love in the Golden Age was the inspiration for Matisse's Le bonheur de vivre (Joy of Life).[5]

A painting by Franck of The Triumph of the Virtues over the Vices was sold at Sotheby's in 2011 for £121.250.[4] Another work, the Ascension of Virtue, was sold in 2008 for €168,750 in Amsterdam.[6]

Pauwels Franck at the Netherlands Institute for Art History (Dutch)
"Fiammingo, Paolo." Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. 27 Jul. 2014
Pauwels Franck, called Paolo Fiammingo (Antwerp? c. 1540-1596), The Age of Bronze; and The Age of Iron at Christie's auction in London on 3 December 2008
Pauwels Franck, Triumph of the Virtues over the Vices at Sotheby's auction in London on 6 July 2011
Catherine C. Bock Weiss, Henri Matisse: A Guide to Research, Routledge, 25 Feb, 2014, p. 286

"Old Master Paintings, Lot 6". Sotheby's. 11 November 2008. Retrieved 29 November 2012.


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