Italian painter. He was a minor Florentine master whose work follows the shift in Florentine painting from the style of Lorenzo Monaco through that of Gentile da Fabriano,
Masaccio and Masolino
in the 1420s to that of Fra Angelico
at the beginning of the 1430s. His artistic personality was differentiated by Longhi from that of an artist now identified as Masaccio
s brother Giovanni di Ser Giovanni, called Scheggia.
Francesco enrolled in the Arte dei Medici e Speziali in 1409 and was recorded as a member of the Medici e Speziali guild on 21 November 1429. His earlier phase is represented by his only signed and dated work, a triptych with the Virgin and Child and Two Saints (1415; Cambridge, Fitzwilliam), and by the signed frescoes (c. 1420) of the Annunciation and the Coronation of the Virgin in S Francesco at Figline Valdarno. These paintings confirm Vasari s statement that Francesco, whom he referred to as Francesco Fiorentino , was apprenticed to Lorenzo Monaco.
In the next phase of Francesco s stylistic development, his manner is closer to the late Gothic style as exemplified by Gentile da Fabriano and is evident in Virgin and Child (London, National Gallery) and St Ansano (Florence, S Niccolo sopr Arno). His later, broader and more realistic style, perhaps reflecting the influence of Masaccio
transmitted through Masolino, is seen in four organ shutters (Florence, Accademia Disegno) with the Evangelists on one side and singing angels on the other, which he delivered to Orsanmichele in 1429, a fresco of the Virgin and Child with Two Saints (Montemarciano, S Giovanni Valdarno, Oratory of the Madonna delle Grazie), a Virgin and Child with Four Saints (Florence, tabernacle in Piazza S Maria Novella), a dossal (Florence, Soprintendenze Galleria) commissioned after 1427 by Bernardo Quaratesi for S Niccolo sopr Arno in Florence, the perspective composition of the Healing of the Lunatic Boy (Philadelphia, PA, Museum of Art), reminiscent of the circle of Masaccio
and sometimes attributed to Masaccio
himself, and the Rinieri Altarpiece of the Virgin and Child with SS Jerome and John the Baptist (Avignon, Muse Petit Palais). This last was executed at the beginning of the 1430s and shows movement towards Fra Angelico
typical of many painters like Francesco who were associated with the late Gothic current.