Maffei, FrancescoItalian Baroque Era Painter, 1605-1660
Italian painter. He probably trained with his father, Giacomo Maffei, before joining the workshop of the Maganza family in Vicenza. His early works, such as the Ecce homo (ex-Dianin priv. col., Padua, see Pallucchini, 1981,), were influenced by the eclectic style, between Veronese and the Bassani, of Alessandro Maganza. The St Nicholas and the Angel (1626; Vicenza, S Nicola da Tolentino), with colours like those of Veronese, yet lighter, suggests Maffei's rapid development of an independent style that is both rugged and moving. His interest in narrative, already evident in scenes from the Life of St Cajetan (Vicenza, S Stefano), was developed in the later Martyrdom of the Franciscan Minors at Nagasaki (Schio, S Francesco), which is datable to about 1630. Here, the contrast between the pale, silvery tones of the background and the darker foreground figures is derived from Tintoretto, but the exaggerated Mannerist treatment of the main figures also recalls the art of such French engravers as Jacques Bellange and Pierre Brebiette. At the same time there is also an echo of the extreme stylizations of Giovanni Demio.