La teorica della pittura, ovvero trattato delle materie più necessarie per apprendere con fondamento quest’arte

18 FRANCHI Antonio La teorica della pitturaFRANCHI, Antonio

Lucca, Marescandoli, 1739

In 4to, pp. (8), 207, (1), some woodcut along text and a foldingplate. Contemporary binding in full vellum with manuscripttitle on spine. Some quire lightly browned.

Original and only edition, printed post mortem, by Antonio Franchi from Lucca (1632/38-1709). Antonio Rigacci cared the edition, a Florentin scholar who explains, in his dedication,that he took possession of a manuscript (today preserved at the Uffizi), in which, with “solid rules he deals the principles of the noble art of painting and, conducing its frames to a method and solid system, he opens a reliable andeasy path to pupils”. Rigacci also writes the Introduction, avery author’s biography, and inserts at the end a “Directionto a young painter”, derived from Mr De Piles painting class.

Franchi engaged in the drafting of this work, that merges the theory principles to the intention of being a true useful painting handbook, during the last part of his life: he couldn’t finish the review and he signed the manuscript under the alias of Toannio Chifran.

The essay, accorded to a Florentin classicism relying on the draw and perspective significance as a root of the painting, is made up of 23 chapters that deal with light principles, colours,views, optics; but also of painter decency. The author notes also, in chapter II, that he read the painting work of Vinci, under a manusctipt form.

Franchi, alias “Il Lucchese”, was painter and a member of the “Accademia del disegno”, with a wide range of interests,studies, researches. “Erudite and ecleptic, F. moved from art theory to philosophy, from ethics to mathematics,geometrics and mechanics”. His inquiry method can be linked (according to Baldinucci (1725-50/1975, p. 47), to the Galileo’s one, and some speeches of him are quoted (althougthen lost) on the gravity, the forces and properties of solids,on time origin, on the sea level subject (and on earth), on the non-existence of the anti-peristasis, on the free will. All this shows a “mental habitus linked to modern sperimentalism” (M. Gallo, Dbi, s.v.)

Schlosser, 1935, p. 542


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