Contents

Preface

This catalogue presents those prints of the sixteenth century that I consider to have been done after designs by Rosso.  All of these prints appear to have been made from drawings by Rosso or from copies of his drawings (on which, see below).1 The prints are presented under the names of the printmakers, arranged alphabetically.  For the purposes of this catalogue, mainly concerned with Rosso’s images, the traditional identifications of the printmakers are generally accepted but with reservations for some prints.  Short biographical introductions identify most of the important printmakers, with discussions of the attributions of the prints to them and of the attribution of the images to Rosso.  A final group presents the anonymous prints.  This group contains not only those prints for whom no authors have been determined with certainty but also those for whom the traditionally designated printmakers have been or can be seriously questioned. Within each of these groups the prints are arranged according to what may be the chronological order of their images by Rosso with this order modified under each printmaker to keep together the prints related to the decoration of the Gallery of Francis I. The arrangement of the contents of each entry is in general as follows, with changes called upon by the special circumstances of particular prints, and with prints that are copies of prints given separate numbered entries but fully catalogued under the original prints: E. and a number [E.1], the numbers running consecutively to E.163 from one printmaker to another, ending with the anonymous prints.  Some prints, copies, and the cartouches of Du Cerceau that are part of sets or series are given a primary number and secondary numbers (as for series E.6, 1-20 and E.55, 1-3, with each print of a series given as E.55,1, E.55,2, etc.).  The title follows.  In several entries the title is followed by another designation: After Rosso?, Partially after Rosso, Possibly after Rosso, or Possibly in part after Rosso. Technique, the color of ink if not black, and the color of paper if not white; followed by the dimensions in centimeters, height by width, with L (outline), P (platemark), or S (sheet) to indicate where measurements were taken; margin indicates any area at the bottom separated from the image.  The city and other indications in parentheses specify the location of the impression or, rarely, another source from which the measurements and other data were obtained.  Dimensions taken from a publication can be without indication of L, P, or S, or location of impression.  The watermark (wm.) is given if known and important. A single state or multiple states are listed, with states indicated by Roman numerals and differences of detail specified including fully transcribed inscriptions.  States not seen but indicated by others are given, as well as probable states.  In the case of Caraglio’s Gods in Niches (E.26-45) states are indicated also as editions because states were created by the printing of new editions.  Only the first print of this series, the Saturn, bearing the printmaker’s name and date, gives any clear evidence of one edition or another.  Impressions for illustrations have been selected on the basis of the completeness of an image together with the clarity of the reproduction that was scanned or that was available on the web.  The quality of an illustration may be disappointingly less than that of the original.  Enlarging the illustration on the computer may reduce its clarity but also on occasion make inscriptions clearer. A separate line gives the illustration LINK preceded by Fig. and followed in parentheses by the location (generally city only) of the impression used. References are then given in chronological order to the major print catalogues (see BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ABBREVIATIONS). COLLECTIONS of known impressions are given in alphabetical order of location, followed by inventory numbers, and states in Roman numerals in parentheses.  Condition and written inscriptions may be indicated.  Most locations are abbreviated by the city of the collection only, and where necessary, by other details: Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, Rijkspretenkabinet Berlin: Berlin-Dahlem, Staatliche Museen, Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Kupferstichkabinet Berlin, Kb: Berlin-Charlottenberg, Kunstbibliothek Bologna: Pinacoteca Nazionale, Gabinetto delle Stampe Boston: Museum of Fine Arts Braunschweig: Herzog Anton Ulrich-Museum Cambridge: Fitzwilliam Museum Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland Florence: Galleria degli Uffizi, Gabinetto degli disegni e stampe Hamburg: Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kupferstichkabinett London: Victoria and Albert Museum New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art New York Public: The New York Public Library Oxford: Ashmolean Museum Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale, Cabinet des Estampes Paris, Arsenal: Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal Paris, Ensba: École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts Poughkeepsie: The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center, Vassar College Rennes: Musée des Beaux-Arts. Rome: Gabinetto Nationale delle Stampe Stockholm: Kungliga Biblioteket Vienna: Graphische Sammlung Albertina The LITERATURE on the print (other than the major print catalogues) is presented chronologically (see BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ABBREVIATIONS) with indications of the authors’ opinions and comments.  Where possible the collections of reproduced prints are given. In general the text of each entry discusses the attribution and date of the image of the print, based on documents, on other references, on inscriptions, on the relationship to Rosso’s authentic drawings or copies of them, and to Rosso’s paintings, and to his style in general and in particular works, together with a consideration of the degree of reliability of each print as representing an autograph invention.  The identification of the printmaker is discussed if in question.  Where possible and of special importance the date of an undated print is considered. From the evidence of the surviving material it can be recognized that each sixteenth century print – engraving, etching, chiaroscuro woodcut – that is not a copy of another print was most likely made from one of four kinds of drawings:2 1.  a disegno di stampa by Rosso, the name given by Vasari (Vasari-Milanesi, 1906, V, 162) to a drawing made specifically as the model for the print and from which the printmaker worked.  Disegni di stampe are known with certainty only to have been made by Rosso in Italy for the engravers Caraglio and, for the earliest engraving, Agostino Veneziano. 2.  a drawing by Rosso not specifically made as the model for a print (or not known to have been made to serve this purpose) but used by a printmaker as his immediate model. 3.  a disegno di stampa by a draughtsman other than Rosso copied from a drawing by him, or from a copy of a drawing by him. 4.  a drawing made by a draughtsman other than Rosso copied from a drawing by him but not specifically copied to serve as the model for a print (or not known to have been made to serve this purpose). The source of each image is considered with references to the Catalogue of Drawings (D.) for models that are known.  Although there is no evidence that any sixteenth century print was made from a painting by him, those few instances are noted where a relation between a print and a lost painting existed or may have existed. Under: COPY, PRINT or: COPIES, PRINTS are given copies, partial copies, and copies of copies, with indications of their states and editions, and their variations.  While the copy is fully catalogued and discussed here, each has also a separate catalogue entry and number with a reference back to the discussion of it under the original print. Under: COPIES, NOT PRINTS are listed drawings, paintings, enamels, ceramics, furniture decoration, stained glass, etc., the designs of which are derived from the prints.  The location and specifications of the works are given as specifically and with the same abbreviations for collections as with the prints. Notes follow each entry separately. There is no evidence that Rosso made any disegni di stampe in France, nor are there any prints made in France of his inventions that can be dated with certainty before his death in November 1540.  A document of 1536 (Arnauldet, 1861; Zerner, 1969, XXXIV) refers to one “Jehan Viset, graveur et tailleur d’hystoires en cuivre de present à Fontainbleau, on service de Mgr de la Vaugyon.”  Zerner believed that this must refer to an engraver because etching did not appear at Fontainebleau until 1542, this being also the earliest known date on an etching done in France.  It is likely that etching did not appear in France before Primaticcio’s return from his Italian trip in 1541.  The earliest dated engraving is one by Léon Davent of 1540 (Zerner, 1969,  L.D. 3), but this is not after a design by Rosso.  But so many prints are undated that the value of these dates is uncertain as indicating the earliest moments of printmaking in France, especially in the light of the 1536 document. The earliest prints after Rosso’s designs made outside Italy are Jacob Bink’s engraved copies of 1530 (E.6, 1-20) of Caraglio’s Gods in Niches of 1526 (E.26-45).  However, it is not known where this peripatetic German engraver from Cologne made his copies.  There is the possibility that he is the engraver of Rosso’s Mars and Venus (Fig.E.130, I) made from Rosso’s drawing in the Louvre (Fig.D.42a).  If true then Bink was active in France in the 1530s as the drawing seems never to have left the country and the print appears almost certainly to have been made from Rosso’s drawing and not from a copy of it.  It is just possible that Bink served Rosso’s own intention to have his drawing engraved although the drawing, made in and sent to Francis I from Venice, was not created with printmaking in mind, as its complex draughtsmanship indicates.  Domenico del Barbiere was an assistant of Rosso’s between 1536 and late 1540 and it may be that this engraver’s Fame (Fig.E.5), derived from Rosso’s lost drawing for the Gallery of Francis I, was made before Rosso died.  Thus, as Zerner suggested (1969, XXXVIII-XXXIX), Rosso may have encouraged engraving in France.  We know from Vasari that Rosso did drawings for an anatomy book to be published in France (see L.60).  But while this indicates an interest in printing it is not known that the plates of this book would have been engravings.  It is likely that they would have been woodcuts. If Bink did the engraving after Rosso’s Mars and Venus drawing there is some possibility that Rosso meant to establish a relation with this engraver similar to the one he had with Caraglio in Rome, an arrangement that, however, got no further in France than this one print (suggested by the plate from which the engraver’s monogram must have been quickly removed, leaving only one impression with Bink’s monogram intact but traces of it on some of the later impressions).  Another engraver could just possibly have been acquainted with Rosso personally.  Pierre Milan was in Paris in August 1540, and he could already have been active as an engraver there in the 1530s, as Wardropper (1985, 29) also thought.  Four prints by him after Rosso were made before October 1545 but how much before cannot be determined.  All of these prints would have been made from drawings by him, or from versions of them made to serve better as disegni di stampe than the sheets made originally for other ends.  Milan’s prints are not as subtle as Barbiere’s in their range of lights and darks, but in the Three Fates, Nude (Fig.E.105) and the Nymph of Fontainebleau finished by Boyvin (Fig.E.103) there is a broad definition of form that Rosso may have wanted around 1540 in prints after his inventions.  This style was continued by Boyvin, Milan’s pupil.  Boyvin engraved several more images by Rosso but only after the time that he began his association with Milan late in 1549.  Still, the very fact that he had drawings by Rosso to engrave so long after Rosso’s death may indicate that he got them from Milan who could have had them directly from the artist. Several of Rosso’s French drawings in red chalk graphically resemble the four surviving disegni di stampe that were used by Caraglio for the Gods in Niches.  The St. Jerome of 1531-1532 (Fig.D.45a), the Dream of Hercules (Fig.D.78a), the Empedocles-St. Roch (Fig.D.80a), and the Judith and Holofernes (Fig.D.84a) all show complete scenes and all are done in a manner that could have served an engraver well.  Two late drawings were engraved by Boyvin.  But other Italian and French drawings by Rosso that were certainly not made as the models for prints show an identical draughtsmanship, making it impossible to be sure that any one drawing of this kind was made for a printmaker. There is no sure evidence that Rosso brought any of his drawings with him when he left Italy for France.  The Mars and Venus preceded him.  Davis (1988, 14-15) thought that the contents of Rosso’s studio were probably inherited by Primaticcio.  Zerner (1969, XV) suggested that Fantuzzi had access to Rosso’s drawings from Primaticcio.  That Primaticcio obtained all of Rosso’s drawings, or, in fact, any of them cannot be proved.  Primaticcio was not in France when Rosso died and by the time of his return the dispersal of the contents of Rosso’s studio could already have taken place.  The loss of so many of Rosso’s French drawings – not a single autograph drawing made for the Gallery of Francis I survives – and the present dispersal of the few that remain suggest that his drawings were scattered very soon after his death.  It is also possible that some, perhaps many, were given away by Rosso himself.  Vasari commented on his generosity in Italy in making drawings for the commissions of friends and this might have extended to unsolicited gifts as well.  The collection of prints after Rosso’s designs reveals that while a few printmakers had each a number of his drawings none had such a sizeable number as to constitute a majority of what may have existed at the time of his death.  In spite of the fact that many prints were made from his drawings in France, the absence of so many prints related to the very large number of drawings that must have been made for the Gallery of Francis I and for other decorative projects at Fontainebleau suggests their unsystematic dispersal and their limited chance of survival. The study of the prints made from Rosso’s drawings is essential to the reconstruction of his artistic ambitions and achievements.  Without a full knowledge of them the extent and chronology of the last decade of his activity in France would not be known.  Only through them could the study of his activity as a draughtsman be fulfilled.  It is also through them that his artistic heritage was launched and disseminated throughout northern Europe.  The prints are gathered here primarily to provide further visual evidence of his work and not for the very specialized curatorial responsibility of cataloguing them correctly.  Some details may propose possibilities to the study of these prints that only further evidence would prove.


1 The earliest print derived from a painting is Garnier’s seventeenth century engraving (Fig.E.89) of the Revenge of Nauplius in the Gallery of Francis I. 2 See Carroll, 1987, 37-47, and Carroll, 1989. Herbet, IV, 1900, 346-347 (1969, 196-197), stated that the abbé de Marolles is alone in his opinion that Rosso made prints himself.