Need help in translating this text found on an oil painting. I believe it's medieval Latin but not sure if Christophorus and Lafranchini is the first and last name or two different people. Any help is appreciated.enter image description here

3 Answers 3


There is such a name as Christophorus Lafranchini, though the years don't match, so they're not the same person.

Pinxit is the Latin for "painted," and An~ here is likely anno meaning "in the year." So he painted it in 1778 at Verona.

Tripehound in the comments points out the co could be an abbreviation for coniugi, which is the dative of coniunx, "spouse." However, on second glance there's a colon after Co, making that reading unlikely.

Edit: brianpck's answer has found the right person and solved the mystery of co.

  • 1
    Any ideas what "Co:" might mean?
    – jpa
    Aug 12, 2022 at 9:37
  • Except... the book you refer to was published in 1584 if I read it right, so they cant be the same person Aug 12, 2022 at 10:44
  • This page lists potential meanings of "co", of which the most common is coniugi which Google tells me means "spouse". If the subject of the painting is a woman, could it be the wife of Christophorus? Perhaps painted (by someone unknown) in 1778?
    – TripeHound
    Aug 12, 2022 at 11:16
  • @TripeHound Presumably then you'd need the genitive Christophori to give 'wife of Christopher', though.
    – dbmag9
    Aug 12, 2022 at 12:17
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    @anguscrossley Sorry if I was unclear. I meant it more that the name is attested, not that the two were the same person. I edited my post for clarity.
    – cmw
    Aug 12, 2022 at 13:18

I think I've found the figure in question: Cristoforo Lafranchini is a pastellist with an article in Jeffares's Dictionary of pastellists before 1800. The linked entry says that he was active in Verona in 1773 (which corresponds well to the data and location in question) and--significantly--he has a title: Italian "conte"; Latin "comes"; English "count." In fact, the entire article seems to be based on the painting that the OP is asking about.

The full transcription is therefore:

Co[mes] Christophorus Lafranchini pinxit an[no] 1773 Veronae


Count Cristoforo Lafranchini painted [me] in 1773 in Verona

Two other small changes:

  • I am pretty sure the last number of the year is "3," not "8"
  • It makes more grammatical sense for Verona to be in the locative, so I am assuming the loop under the "e" is intended to be a ligature for "ae," not just a flourish.
  • 1
    Good find! The book I saw didn't say he was a count, so that threw me off. I did see that he was noble though (one book says "nobile Sig. Cristoforo Laffranchini", while someone below him was "sig. Conte").
    – cmw
    Aug 23, 2022 at 17:17
  • Yes, you cracked it.
    – fdb
    Aug 24, 2022 at 10:48

It is meant to be read:

Collectione: Christoforus Lafranchini pinxit Anno 1779 Verona

Which means, "From the collection of Christopher Laffranchini, painted in the year 1779 at Verona"

FYI: "Co" in the context of art, refers to a collection or a collector, not to a wife. Laffranchini was an important art collector in Verona. There are dozens, if not hundreds of paintings that are provenanced from his collection throughout museums in Italy.

  • 3
    I guess I'd expect the genitive, Christophori and not Christophorus. Also, what is the subject of pinxit if not Christophorus?
    – Figulus
    Aug 23, 2022 at 0:09
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    @TylerDurden Do you have sources for that? I couldn't find anything with an admittedly rudimentary Google search.
    – cmw
    Aug 23, 2022 at 3:46
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    @TylerDurden, can you provide a name of one of those dozens of paintings in his collocation? I seem to be unable to find any information about this.
    – d_e
    Aug 23, 2022 at 9:56
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    I didn't ask for a source because I think you're wrong, I asked for a source because, like @d_e, I cannot find anything about this online. A search on the name comes up empty. Can you point to a museum page, a book, some source from which we can gather more information?
    – cmw
    Aug 23, 2022 at 12:30
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    I'm downvoting, not because I don't think "co." means "collectio[ne]" (in fact, that seems more probable than coniugi), but because "Christoforus" is clearly the grammatical subject of pinxit. The provided translation simply ignores the nominative.
    – brianpck
    Aug 23, 2022 at 14:52

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