Francesco Hayez

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Main page: Sicilian Vespers (1846) by Francesco Hayez Il Vespri Siciliani - Three paths towards revolution

Francesco Hayez

Francesco Hayez (Italian: 10 February 1791 - 21 December 1882) was a painter from Venice. He came from a relatively poor family, but thanks to his enormous talent and sound education at the New Academy of Fine Arts and later the Accademia di San Luca in Rome he quickly became a renowned painter. After completing his education in Rome in 1814, Hayez lived and worked in Naples for a couple of years where he became director of the Academy of Brera in Milan in 1850. Hayez died in Milan at age 91. [1] Francesco Hayez is often seen as the leading artist of Italian Romanticism and is mainly renowned for his grand historical paintings, political allegories and portraits. The historical paintings of Hayez often appealed to the patriotic sensibility of his patrons. Patriotic scenes are characteristic of Romanticism. The Sicilian Vespers is a good example of such a patriotic historical painting. The painting made in 1846 was already the third version Hayez painted of the Sicilian Vespers. The first version was made in 1821 and the second version in 1826. The second version is part of a private collection as well and due to the inaccessibility of the work to the public, this version will not be discussed in this wiki.


  1. Geraldine Norman, Nineteenth-century Painters and Painting: A Dictionary, p. 106