Gianfrancesco Penni  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Gianfrancesco Penni, also known as Giovan Francesco (1488/1496 – 1528) was an Italian painter, student of Raphael.

Born in Florence to a family of weavers, Penni entered very early in Raphael's workshop, and collaborated with him for several works, including the famous Rooms of the Vatican Palace as well as the frescoes of Villa Farnesina, both in Rome. W├Âlfflin and some other writers credited him with the entire actual execution of the Raphael Cartoons, though more recent writers believe Raphael did much of the work himself. After the premature death of Raphael, Penni collaborated with Giulio Romano to the completion of works such as the Hall of Constantine, the Transfiguration, the Assumption and Coronation of the Virgin (1525) in Monteluce, and the Palazzo Te of Mantua. Penni also provided designs for the tapestries of the life of Christ for Clement VII for the decoration of the Sala del Concistoro in the Vatican. In 1526, he left Rome and rejoined with Giulio Romano, who had arrived in Mantua in 1524. According to Vasari, he was not well received by Giulio Romano. Soon began a long journey through Lombardy, Rome, to Naples, where he died in 1528. Among Penni's pupils was Leonardo da Pistoia (Grazia).

His brother Bartolommeo was an artist of the Tudor court of Henry VIII, and another brother, Luca, ended up as one of the Italian artiists of the School of Fontainebleau.

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