E.12 Enlightenment of Francis I

E.12 Boyvin, Enlightenment of Francis I

Engraving by René Boyvin, 28 x 42.3 P (Boston).  Inscribed on the two urns that flank the door to the temple, at the left: MALI, at the right: BONI; on the oval disc above the door: OSTIV / IOVIS; in the lower left corner: Rous. Floren. Inuen. / Renatus Fecit.

Fig.E.12 (Boston)

Robert-Dumesnil, VIII, 1850, 24-25, no. 16.  Le Blanc, 1854-1890, I, 507, 185.  Herbet, III, 1899, 35 (1969, 123), as Boyvin.  Levron, 1941, 65, no. 7.

COLLECTIONS: Berlin, 835.53.  Boston, B726.  Braunschweig.  Florence, 7944ss.  London, W;3.120; 1835-7-11-13.  Lyons, exhibited (private collection, Dunand, 1973, no. 33).  New Haven, Yale, 1970.4.15.  Oxford.  Paris, Ba 12 (two impressions); Ed 3; SNR.  Paris, Ensba.  Poughkeepsie, E.A. Carroll.  Vienna, F.I.3, p.7, no. 12; It.II.211, p.100.


Mariette, Abécédario, 1858-1859, 23, as Boyvin after Rosso.

Destailleur, 1895, 277, no. 1146.

Kusenberg, 1931, 157, 161, Pl. XLVII (Paris).

Linzeler, 1932, 168-169.

Adhémar, 1946, Pl. VI – VII (Paris), introduction and table of illustrations, as Boyvin, c. 1543.

Barocchi, 1950, 128, Fig. 85 (Paris).

Adhémar, 1953, 363, Fig. 2, 364.

Panofsky, 1958, 165, n. 12, Fig. 4 (Paris).

School of Fontainebleau, Fort Worth, 1965, 47, 39, Fig. (Boston).

Borea, 1980, 261, no. 659.

Marianne Grivel, in Ronsard, 1985, 108, no. 139, with Fig. (Paris, Ba 12), the king showing the features of Henri II, while in the fresco in the Gallery of Francis I and in Fantuzzi’s print Francis is recognizable.

E. Hevers, in Zauber der Medusa, 1987, 199, no. IV, 6, and Fig. (Vienna, F.I.3, p.7).

Carroll, 1987, 31, 286-287, no. 91, with Fig. (London, 1835-7-11-13).

Davis, 1988, 225, under no. 100.

Carroll, 1989, 25-27, Fig. 44 (London, 1835-7-11-13).

Scalliérez, 1992, 9, Fig. 2, as showing Francis I entering the temple of Jupiter to cultivate letters, the sciences, and the arts.

Brugerolles and Guillet, 1994, 38, Fig. (Paris, Ensba, with 34 inscribed at lower left), 39.

The engraving is based upon a lost drawing by Rosso of 1535 or 1536 known from three copies (Fig.D.61A; Fig.D.61B; Fig.D.61C).  It could, however, be based upon such a copy or upon a lost copy made especially as a disegno di stampa, as in the case of the Twins of Catania (Fig.E.11; Fig.D.60).  The engraving does not seem to be based upon one of the known copies, one of which is unfinished, the others too indecisive in their shading to be an adequate model for a print.  In reverse of the fresco in the Gallery of Francis I and of the drawings, the print shares with the latter certain details not found in the painting: a barefoot Caesar, the nudity of the woman with upraised arms near the temple, and a bearded head between two columns.  The only details in which the drawings and print differ are in the inscription above the doorway, which in the drawings appears on the lintel with the Royal F over the door, as in the fresco, while in the engraving the inscription is on the oval disk over the door and the Royal F is eliminated.  The inscriptions on the urns may never have been in the fresco.

The style of the print certainly supports the information of the inscription that gives the engraving to Boyvin.  Levron (1944, 18) suggests that the print was made c. 1550-1555, because it is signed Renatus.  Adhémar’s dating c. 1543 has to be too early for Boyvin.  The elimination of the Royal F probably indicates that the print was made after Francis I’s death.  But by the removal of this symbol the meaning of the image is significantly altered.

COPY, DRAWING: Paris, Jean-Jacques Lebel Collection.  Pen and ink and wash, 16.5 x 21.5 (Fig.E.12 Copy, drawing).

COPY, PRINT: E.112.  Domenico Zenoi.  Engraving, 29.9 x 40.2, including margin below of 1.9 (Vienna).  In reverse of Boyvin’s print.  Inscriptions on the urns and above the door of the temple as in Boyvin’s engraving, but the lettering on the urns is different and so placed that MALI is on the right and BONI on the left; at the lower right: Dominicus Zenoi Venetus./ exidebat; in the margin below on four linked plaques: Qualunaue ardisce temerarlo il monte / Salir per quiui entrar gl’occhi s’abbenda. // Che’non lice veder l’altiera fronte/ Di Giove come folgori, e, risplenda,// Altri eccetto colui, che bebe al fonte / Pegaso, e la Virtù castalia intenda.// E colui, che col fero immita il Padre / Valoroso d’Amor, fra mille sauadre.

Fig.E.112 (London)

Robert-Dumesnil, VIII, 1850, 25, under no. 16, as Zenoi after Boyvin.  Le Blanc, 1854-1890, IV, 262, 17.  Herbet, II, 1896, 278 (1969, 74).  Herbet, III, 1899, 35, (1969, 123) as Zenoi.

COLLECTIONS: Bologna, Pinacoteca Nazionale, XXV, 6097.  Chatsworth, Vol. 12, p.20, no. 29.  London, Nn,7.17.2.  Los Angeles (Ruiz).  New York, 49.50.216.  Oxford.  Oxford, Christ Church, Vol. 011.  Paris, Ba 12, M.  Vienna, F.I.3, p.7, no. 13.


Renouvier, III, 1855, 30, as showing “François Ier abondant le temple de Jupiter à travers la foule aveuglée.”

Mariette, Abécédario, 1858-1859, 23, as a copy after Boyvin by Zenoi.

Destailleur, 1895, 277, under no. 1146.

Kusenberg, 1931, 157, 161, under Robert-Dumesnil 16.

Linzeler, 1932, 169.

Borea, 1980, 261, no. 660.

Carroll, 1987, 287, n. 2, under no. 91.

Davis, 1988, 224-225, no. 100, Fig. (Los Angeles), as Zenoi, probably after Boyvin, and as The Conquest of Ignorance.

Zenoi’s engraving is a very close copy in reverse of Boyvin’s print.  However, the lights and darks have been much exaggerated, although the beam of light shining from the door of the temple has been somewhat diffused.  This change, as well as the reversal of the inscriptions on the urns, seems to indicate that Zenoi did not quite understand the original print.  The inscriptions on the print do not refer to the meaning of Rosso’s fresco.  But the change of the image away from that meaning had already begun with Boyvin’s removal of the Royal F referring to Francis I.

Mariette, Abécédario, 1858-1859, 23, said he knew a third anonymous engraving of this scene, the same size as the other two.