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RE.20 Monument to Vercingétorix

RE.20 Monument to Vercingetorix

Etching by Antonio Fantuzzi, 40.5 x 25 (Zerner, Paris).

Fig.RE.20 (Zerner: Paris)

Herbet, II, 1896, 279 (1969, 75), 32, as Fantuzzi, and a variant of the central figure of Fantuzzi’s Unity of the State after Rosso.  Zerner, 1969, A.F.29 (Paris), as in Herbet, 1542-1543.

COLLECTION: Paris, Ba 12.

LITERATURE:

Kusenberg, 1931, 165, as in Herbet.

Panofsky, 1958, 128, 129 and Fig. 17 (Paris), 169, n. 32, as Fantuzzi after Rosso and a variant of the central figure in the Unity of the State but here representing a statue of Vercingétorix.

Zerner, in EdF, 1972, 265, no. 311, as Fantuzzi and perhaps a first idea for the central figure of Rosso’s Unity of the State, or, less probably, a variant by Fantuzzi.

 

Although this figure is related in pose and in the holding of a pomegranate to the central one in Rosso’s Unity of the State, to which, as the Panofskys pointed out, it is also symbolically connected, the figure of Vercingétorix in Fantuzzi’s etching does not stylistically indicate Rosso as its inventor.  Neither the proportions of the figure, the characterization of the head, nor the disposition of the drapery suggest a dependency on a drawing by Rosso, which, according to Fantuzzi’s practice, would have been the source of his print.  The figure has a certain brutal appearance that reminds one of Giulio Romano and makes one wonder if it might not be by Primaticcio, soon after he arrived in France, in a vein of expression not unlike that of the Hercules in his Hercules Dressed as a Woman by Omphale, as etched by Fantuzzi (Zerner, 1969, A.F.17) in a somewhat coarse manner compared to the softer handling in Master Léon Davent’s print of the same scene (Zerner, 1969, L.D.10), and far more similar than Fantuzzi’s to Primaticcio’s drawing of 1535 in Vienna (Béguin, in EdF, 1972, 136, ill., 139, no. 146).  Fantuzzi’s Vercingétorix could reflect the design of an actual statue conceived perhaps for some festive occasion at Fontainebleau.