Francesco del Cossa
Francesco del Cossa (c. 1430 – c. 1477) was an Italian Renaissance
painter of the School of Ferrara.
2 Allegorical frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia
3 Cossa in Bologna
4 Anthology of works
5 The Great Google Earth Treasure Hunt
7 External links
The son of a stonemason in Ferrara, little is known about his early
works, although it is known that he travelled outside of
his late twenties or early thirties.
Cossa is best known for his frescoes. One of the first records we have
of him is in 1456 when he was an assistant to his father, Cristofano
del Cossa, at that time employed in painting the carvings and statues
on the high altar in the chapel of the bishop's palace at Ferrara. One
of his followers was
Leonardo Scaletti of Faenza.
Allegorical frescoes in the Palazzo Schifanoia
In conjunction with Cosimo Tura, Cossa is now known for fresco
decoration of the summer pleasure villa/palazzo known as the Palazzo
Schifanoia, located just outside the city gates. Together, they
painted a series of the elaborate allegories around the themes of
zodiacal signs and months of the year. These were only partially
restored in the 20th century, and there are three that are reasonably
assigned to Cossa. Of these, one of the most remarkable images is the
horde of naked toddlers in the Allegory of May – Triumph of Apollo.
Apparently a sign of springtime's prolific blossoming, the crowded
rows of babies mass like a phalanx of infantile Rockettes.
The Allegory of April has a depiction of the trio of Graces, one of
the earliest Post-classical representations of the naked intertwined
dancers in painting. Sandro Botticelli's version in Primavera dates
from 1482. See the 1501 version of the Three Graces (now at
Chantilly). Assuming the date of death of Cossa is correct, this one
must have been completed prior to the others.
Cossa in Bologna
Unhappy that he had been paid by the square foot for his work for Duke
Borso and complaining he was being paid the same as the "worst dauber
in Ferrara", Cossa left
Bologna in 1470.
Bologna he obtained many commissions under the patronage of the
Bentivoglio family. Here he painted his two masterpieces: the Virgin
and Child with two saints and a portrait of Alberto de' Catanei (1474)
and fresco of the Madonna del Baracano, representing the Virgin and
Child with portraits of Giovanni Bentivoglio and Maria Vinziguerra
He executed stained glass windows in Bologna, the best of which is a
circular window, in the church of San Giovanni in Monte, representing
St. John in Patmos. This bears his signature.
In the National Gallery of London there is a picture by him
representing St. Vincent Ferrer. There is a fine profile portrait at
Locko Park near Derby, said to represent Duke Ercole I of Ferrara. In
the Dresden collection there is also an Annunciation that has,
however, been attributed to Pollaiuolo.
Del Cossa features as one of the two protagonists in Ali Smith's novel
How to Be Both, short-listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.
Anthology of works
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Francesco del Cossa.
Annunciation and Nativity (1470–1472 Dresden Gemäldegallerie alte
St Vincent Ferrer (1473, National Gallery, London)
St Peter (1473, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan)
St John the Baptist (1473, Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan)
St Florian 1473,National Gallery of Art, Washington)
St Lucy (1473, National Gallery of Art, Washington)
The Crucifixion (1473, National Gallery of Art, Washington)
St Petronius (1473, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara)
11 other small pictures from altarpiece (1473, ?, ?)
Madonna with the Child and Saints(1474, Pinacoteca Nazionale, Bologna)
Madonna with the Child and an angel (1460, Museu Nacional d'Art de
Frescoes for Hall of Months, Palazzo Schifanoia,
Allegory of April: Triumph of Venus
Allegory of May: Triumph of Apollo
Allegory of March: Triumph of Minerva
Polyhymnia, the Muse of Many Songs
The Great Google Earth Treasure Hunt
The stained glass window was revealed to be the final answer of the
Great Google Earth Treasure Hunt.
^ Collection of Mediaeval and
Renaissance Paintings, Volume 1, by Fogg
Art Museum, page 193.
Ali Smith 2014, How to be both. ISBN 0-241-14521-X.
^ Euroweb.hu Archived 2005-03-09 at the Wayback Machine.
^ Euroweb.hu Archived 2005-05-24 at the Wayback Machine.
Encyclopedia of Artists, volume 2, edited by William H. T. Vaughan,
ISBN 0-19-521572-9, 2000
Web Gallery of Art
ISNI: 0000 0000 8106 4815
BNF: cb14971952p (data)