The High Renaissance









Rosso Fiorentino

born March 8, 1495, Florence [Italy]
died Nov. 14, 1540, Paris, France

also called Rosso Fiorentino, or Il Rosso Italian painter and decorator, an exponent of the expressive style that is often called early, or Florentine, Mannerism, and one of the founders of the Fontainebleau school.

Rosso received his early training in the studio of Andrea del Sarto, alongside his contemporary, Pontormo. The earliest works ofthese two young painters combined influences from Michelangelo and from northern Gothic engravings in a novel style, which departed from the tenets of High Renaissance art and was characterized by its highly chargedemotionalism. Rosso's most remarkable paintings from this period are the “Assumption” (1517; fresco at SS. Annunziata, Florence), the “Deposition” (1521; Pinacoteca Comunale, Volterra), and “Moses Defending the Daughters of Jethro” (c. 1523; Uffizi, Florence).

At the end of 1523 Rosso moved to Rome, where his exposure to Michelangelo's Sistine ceiling, the late art of Raphael, and the work of Parmigianino resulted in a radical realignment of his style. His “Dead Christ with Angels” (c. 1526) exemplifies this new style with its feeling for rarefied beauty and subdued emotion. Fleeing from the sack of the city in 1527, he worked briefly in several central Italian towns. In 1530, on the invitation of Francis I, he went to France (by way of Venice) and remained in the royal service there until his death.

Rosso's principal surviving work is the decoration of the Galerie François I at the palace of Fontainebleau (c. 1534–37), where, in collaboration with Francesco Primaticcio,he developed an ornamental style whose influence was felt throughout northern Europe. His numerous designs for engravings also exercised a wide influence on the decorative arts both in Italy and in northern Europe.

Dead Christ with Angels

Oil on canvas, 133,5 x 104 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston




Deposition from the Cross

Oil on canvas, 270 x 201 cm
San Lorenzo, Sansepolcro


Marriage of the Virgin

Oil on wood, 325 x 250 cm
San Lorenzo, Florence


Madonna Enthroned and Ten Saints

Oil on wood, 350 x 259 cm
Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence


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