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Frans Floris
Netherlands 1516−1570
Biography and information

Floris was the son of the sculptor Cornelis Floris. In 1538 he became a pupil of Lambert Lombard in Liege, and in 1540 as the master entered the Antwerp Guild of painters. About 1541 he went to Rome, where he experienced a huge influence of the fresco «the last judgment» by Michelangelo, which did a lot of drawings. Besides, in Rome he studied the works of Tintoretto, Vasari, Daniele da Volterra, Salviati, Zuccaro, and of course, Antiques. On his return to Antwerp he has a big success and soon it is a considerable fortune, which enabled him to build a luxury house in the Italian taste. Floris is the main representative of Romanism in Antwerp; he writes a skillful religious and mythological compositions and portraits, he heads a thriving Studio where he worked more than a hundred students. His contemporaries regarded him as an innovator, had a huge impact on the artists of his circle. In reality, however, this talented and skilful often created a very superficial work. True Creator it was only when, setting aside your stylistic quest, merged with the lives of their images, which gave his paintings emotionality and spontaneity («SV. Family», Douai Museum; Brussels, Cor. Museum of fine arts).

At the beginning of his artistic career, Floris used the knowledge in art, which he possessed in Italy. His first signature and dated paintings belong to 1547: triptych «Five saints» (Rome, private collection), which reflects the influence of Venetian art; the song «Venus and Mars» (Berlin-Dahlem, Museum), inspired by Luke at Leiden. In 1554 it was granted «Fall of angels» (Antwerp, Cor. Museum of fine arts), signed with monogram; here the artist sought to embody the heroic and monumental ideal of Michelangelo, but to achieve real dynamism and grandeur of the forms, he failed. In the same 1554 Floris created the triptych «Golgotha» from the TS. in Arnstadt. His «Girl playing the harp» (1556, Bucharest, private collection) and «SV. Luka» (1556, Antwerp, Cor. Museum of fine arts) are typical examples of elegant, carefully finished works of the era. In these works the artist departs somewhat from the Dutch artistic tradition, with its intense flavor and craving for reality. Mostly his personality was evident in the two portraits dated 1558: «Portrait of an elderly lady» (Caen, musée des Beaux-arts) and «Falconer» (Braunschweig, Museum of Duke Anton Ulrich). In contrast to modern. modern him of portraits in which figures were depicted in the conditional tense posture, Floris reaches physiognomic accuracy of the model, transfers the movement to facial expression and creates a vivid image, devoid of all the conventions. However, in the paintings of «Adam and eve» (1560, Florence, Uffizi) and «Feast of the sea gods» (1561, Stockholm, NAT. Museum) from this exhilarating sincerity and left no trace. The last picture is very close to the «feast of the gods», written in 1550 (Antwerp, Cor. Museum of fine arts). The artist’s desire to be like the Italians in such compositions does not always lead to satisfactory results, it cannot create a genuine feeling of space and establish a common rhythm that would bring together separate groups of characters. Equally disturbing impression «judgment» (1565, Vienna. The Museum of art history). A larger version of the story in triptych signed with monogram and dated 1566 (Brussels, Cor. Museum of fine arts). Floris unfinished «adoration of the Magi» (1571, Brussels, Cor. Museum of fine arts) was completed by his pupil, Hieronymus Franken and signed by the monograms of both artists.

Throughout the creativity Floris his style, which is filled with his immaculate works, almost did not change. The admiration of van Mander and his contemporaries paintings of this brilliant artist can be divided only in relation to its ease and skill.

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Frans Floris. Allegory of peace and justice
Allegory of peace and justice
Frans Floris
1555, 103×134 cm
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Artworks by the artist
total 6 artworks
Frans Floris. The family van Berchem
The family van Berchem
1561, 225×130 cm
Frans Floris. Athena and the Muses
Athena and the Muses
Frans Floris. Study of a female head
Study of a female head
Frans Floris. The Judgment Of Paris
The Judgment Of Paris
Frans Floris. Mercy
XVI century, 28.3×16.5 cm
Frans Floris. Allegory of peace and justice
Allegory of peace and justice
1555, 103×134 cm
View 6 artworks by the artist