Sunday, December 30, 2012

Exhibit on Mannerist Painter Rosso Fiorentino

The Morgan Library and Museum in New York City is holding an exhibit on Renaissance painter Rosso Fiorentino, one of the main characters in my novel-in-progress. Fantasy and Invention: Rosso Fiorentino and Sixteenth-Century Florentine Drawing runs through February 3, 2013, and features one of only three paintings by Rosso in the United States, his Holy Family with Saint John the Baptist (1520). Twenty drawings by other Renaissance artists, including Andrea Del Sarto, Agnolo Bronzino and Giorgio Vasari, complement the painting.

Rosso is considered a leading proponent of the Mannerist movement. Born and trained in Florence, he made a name for himself in Rome before coming to France at the invitation of François I in 1530. He spent the next decade as the French King's Director of Artistic Work, overseeing the expansion and decoration of the château de Fontainebleau. The ornate Galérie François I at Fontainebleau is Rosso's best known extant work. Well-read and richly rewarded by King François, Rosso lived as a wealthy gentleman at Fontainebleau until his mysterious death in 1540 at the age of 46. The New York Times has written a review of the exhibit that includes some details about Rosso's sensational, troubled life.

I'm thrilled to see his work on exhibit here in the United States. He deserves to be better known by the general public. I've previously posted about Rosso and the galérie, his Descent from the Cross, his Pièta, and the Royal Elephant.

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