b. 1700, Noale, Venice
d. 1738, Rome
Francesco Polanzani was an Italian engraver who worked first in Venice, near his hometown of Noale, before moving to Rome around 1742. He specialized in techniques of etching and engraving, and upon his arrival in Rome he became a master carver at l’_Ospizio di San Michele_ a Ripa, an institution founded as an orphanage with an adjacent school for apprenticeships. Shortly after arriving in Rome, Polanzani established a working relationship with Giovanni Battista Piranesi, the master etcher, engraver and architect. One of Polanzani’s most famous works is an etching of Piranesi, which was used as the frontispiece for Piranesi’s book of engravings, _Antichità Romane_ (1756). He is also well known for engraving a series of twenty-two plates depicting the _Life of the Virgin_ based on drawings that are attributable either to the French painter and draughtsman Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665), or to the French painter and printmaker Jacques Stella (1596-1657). Polanzani also engraved works by A. van Dyck, Carlo Cignani and Marco Benefiali.