From the lonely life he led, and still more from the extreme profundity of his philosophy and his contempt for mankind in general, he was called the "Dark Philosopher" (6 o-Komewos), or the "Weeping Philosopher," in contrast to Democritus, the "Laughing Philosopher."
His fondness for the allegorical and his manifest carelessness of preparation disappoint as often as his profundity, his devout mysticisms, his practical application attract and satisfy.
But as to the greatness of his work, the profundity of his philosophy and the brilliance of his religious idealism, there can be no question.
The magnificent portrait in the Louvre of a young man in black, of brooding thoughtfulness and saddened profundity of mood, would alone suffice to place Francia among the very great masters, if it could with confidence be attributed to his hand, but in all probability its real author was Franciabigio; it had erewhile passed under the name of Raphael, of Giorgione, or of Sebastian del Piombo.
In this as in all other matters of transcendental truth "wisdom is justified of her children"; the conclusive vindication of the prophets as true messengers of God is that their work forms an integral part in the progress of spiritual religion, and there are many things in their teaching the profundity and importance of which are much clearer to us than they could possibly have been to their contemporaries, because they are mere flashes of spiritual insight lighting up for a moment some corner of a region on which the steady sun of the gospel had not yet risen.