This person is associated with: Baroque, Classicism
Alternate surname: Marco Antonio.
Italian classical painter from Bologna. He was not related to Baldassare Franceschini, aka il Volterrano (1611-1689).
He studied under Carlo Cignani, the best student of Francesco Albani. Franceschini therefore pursued the epurate classical style of the Bolognese school, of which he was the last important artist.
His career started with the ceiling of the Palazzo Ranuzzi in 1680, which he decorated with Enrico Haffner, a quadrature specialist (trompe l'oeil fresco). Success then came rapidly and he painted many works on all kinds of medium (copper, panel, canvas, fresco, and altarpiece) for churches, convents, and private patrons of Emilia-Romagna, where most of his works remain today.
He also produced several artworks for important patrons outside his homeland, notably the great art collector Prince Johann Adam Andreas of Liechtenstein who commissioned from him to decorate his newly built Gartenpalais of Vienna in 1691. As Franceschini seems to have never left Italy, he worked on canvas to create an ensemble of 26 paintings depicting the story of Venus and Diana, which he later sent to his patron. The series was disbanded at the death of the prince in 1712 but has partially been recovered by the family.
In 1701, the Grand Council of Genoa asked him to paint the ceiling of the Salone del Maggior Consiglio in the Palazzo Ducale. This large fresco, considered as his masterpiece, was however destroyed by fire in 1777.
Moreover, Franceschini played a decisive part in the foundation of the Art Academy of Bologna in 1709 by sending some of his paintings to Pope Clement XI, who gave his assent to the project (hence the name of the Clementine Academy of Bologna).
He died in Bologna on 24 December 1729.
He was the master to his son Giacomo.
- Dwight Miller, Marcantonio Franceschini, Turin, 2001.
- Dwight Miller, Franceschini and the Liechtensteins; Prince Johann Adam Andreas and the Decoration of the Garden Palace at Rossau-Vienna, Cambridge, 1991.