Francesco Albani
Baroque painter



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Francesco Albani
Baroque painter
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cschuster's picture

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Francesco Albani had a world class art squad...until everyone from the old crew died or turned on him.

Father Albani was a Bolognese silk merchant who wasn't down with the idea of Francesco going into painting as a career. Young Albani knew early that art was in his heart and he would do it for a living. But, being a proud patriarch, Father Albani pushed his son to either become a silk merchant or enter law as a jurist. Things took a turn for the better when Francesco's father died. Albani was free to pursue his life goals and went unhindered into the high stakes world of fine art. Considering the Albanis were one of the leading families in Bologna, the jump probably wasn't that difficult.

Francesco met his artistic soul mate, Guido Reni, in the studio of their mutual first teacher Denis Calvert. The teachings of Calvert weren't enough for the artistic duo of Albani and Reni, so the pair moved on to the school of Annibale Carracci, Caravaggio's rival. Francesco worked with Guido for a while before the partnership had to end. Albani became a teacher's pet, working as Carracci's chief assistant on commissions while Guido struck out on his own. Slowly, their friendship fell apart and became little more than a polite rivalry. 

Francesco moved on to live a successful, if uneventful, life in Rome. He married and had kids. The family was model-worthy, with his wife and kids acting as subjects for many of his works. Considering how many of those paintings involved an ensemble of nude bodies rubbing up together, I'm assuming the kids needed quite a bit of therapy in later life. Albani made a solid living off mythological cabinet paintings, and was the first Italian to do so. Things kept goin' good until the first wife died. But happy-go-lucky Albani just trucked back to Bologna with the kids and married again. He was one of the most respected artists in Bologna for the rest of his life. 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Francesco Albani

Francesco Albani or Albano (17 March or 17 August 1578 – 4 October 1660) was an Italian Baroque painter who was active in Bologna (1591–1600), Rome (1600–1609), Bologna (1609), Viterbo (1609–1610), Bologna (1610), Rome (1610–1617), Bologna (1618–1660), Mantova (1621–1622), Roma (1623–1625) and Florence (1633).

Early years in Bologna

Albani was born in Bologna, Italy in 1578. His father was a silk merchant who intended him to go into his own trade. By the age of twelve, however, he had become an apprentice to the competent mannerist painter Denis Calvaert, in whose studio he met Guido Reni. He soon followed Reni to the so-called "Academy" run by Annibale, Agostino, and Ludovico Carracci. This studio fostered the careers of many painters of the Bolognese school, including Domenichino, Massari, Viola, Lanfranco, Giovanni Francesco Grimaldi, Pietro Faccini, Remigio Cantagallina, and Reni.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Francesco Albani.