François Louis Thomas Francia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

François Louis Thomas Francia (1772–1839) was a French painter born in Calais and famous for his shore landscapes. He was the master of the young British painter Richard Parkes Bonington.

Life[edit]

Francia was a water-colour painter, was born at Calais on 21 December 1772, and was brought early in life to London by his father, a refugee. He was for some time employed as an assistant of a drawing-master named Barrow, who was the master of John Varley. He commenced to exhibit at the Royal Academy in 1795, and contributed from that year to 1821 (inclusive) eighty-five works in all to its exhibitions. He was one of the sketching society formed by Thomas Girtin about 1799, and there is a moonlight composition in the South Kensington Museum dated in that year. [1]

He was a member of the (now Royal) Society of Painters in Water-Colours, and for some time its secretary, but he resigned his membership, and became in 1816 an unsuccessful candidate for the associateship of the Royal Academy. The next year he retired to Calais, where he resided till his death on 6 February 1839. Here he gave instruction to R. P. Bonington, whose coast scenes bear much resemblance to the later works of Francia. [1]

Francia's earlier drawings are broad and simple in execution, rich, but sombre in colour, like those of Girtin; but his later work, while still retaining its breadth and harmony, is brighter and lighter in tone, and more subtle in handling. Though he painted landscape of different kinds, his favourite subjects were shore scenes, which he executed with great truth and beauty of aerial effect. He was an excellent draughtsman of boats and shipping, and some of his drawings were engraved to illustrate a book of sketches of shipping by Edward William Cooke. He was one of the earliest and most accomplished of English water-colourists, and his works are distinguished by their fine colour and poetical feeling. There are several of his drawings at the South Kensington Museum, and a few at the British Museum. In 1810, he published Studies of Landscapes by T. Gainsborough, J. Hoppner, R.A., T. Girtin, &c., imitated from the originals by L. F.[1]

References[edit]

Attribution

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainMonkhouse, William Cosmo (1889). "Francia, François Louis Thomas". In Stephen, Leslie. Dictionary of National Biography 20. London: Smith, Elder & Co. pp. 163–164.