About Famous Artists

Art Discussion, Art History, Famous Artists

Fabriano Paper and Michelangelo

The town of Fabriano lies in the Esino valley in the Ancona province in the region of Marche, Italy.  It is known as one of the earliest European towns to make high-quality paper on an industrial scale.  Even today, it still holds its reputation as a fine watermarked paper company.

Since 1264, the Fabrino paper mill has been making high-quality paper and is credited with being “the cradle of the production of modern paper.”  The key behind Fabrino’s importance in European paper production lies in its location near Ancona, an important port open to trade with the Arab world.

The Fabriano paper mill is responsible for many of the innovations which led paper production to where it is today and some are still used in the papermaking industry.  They invented animal gelatin sizing to coat the paper for durability and protection from aging helping to control the absorbency and strength of the paper.  It is believed that Fabriano introduced the hydraulic hammer mill which helped to beat the pulp and improve the consistency and surface quality of the paper.  They are also credited with the development of paper watermarking.  They were the first paper company to use cotton in papermaking to improve strength and quality.

Copy of a Figure from "Tribute Money" by Masaccio

Copy of a Figure from “Tribute Money” by Masaccio

For over 7 centuries Fabriano’s paper mill has been renowned for producing the finest art and writing papers.  Fabriano’s fine paper was used by and praised by artistic greats such as Michelangelo, da Vinci, and Raphael.  Works by these artists which still exist today are evidence to the high quality of the Fabriano paper.

Today Fabriano paper is still used by writers and artists around the world.  Even some Euro banknotes are printed on paper by Fabriano.

Read more about Fabriano’s history.

Perhaps some one of these drawings by Michelangelo were completed on Fabriano paper.


Head of a Man in Profile c. 1520-1524


The Lamentation c. 1530-1535















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