E.146 Saturn and Philyra

E.146 Anonymous, Saturn and Philyra

Etching, Anonymous, 21.5 x 11.6 L, including bottom blank margin of 1.3 L.  Inscribed on a small tablet at the lower right: 1548.

Fig.E.146 (London)

Bartsch, XVI, 1818, 398, 57 (as Ceres and Neptune), as Anonymous, School of Fontainebleau, after Rosso.  Herbet, II, 1896, 279 (1969, 75), 30, as Fantuzzi, but doubtful.  Zerner, 1969, XLI (as the Rape of Amphitrite), and Table of Concordance, rejected as Fantuzzi’s.

COLLECTIONS: Florence.  London, 1850-5-27-91.  Paris, Ed 8b Rés., Vol. II, no. 19 ter. (top).  Vienna, Vol.It.III.3, p.21 (22.5 x 12.1 P).


Kusenberg, 1931, 165, as Fantuzzi.

Béguin and Pressouyre, 1972, 136, as Fantuzzi.

Zerner, IB, 33, 1979, 332 (London).

Carroll, 1987, 270, n. 1, under no. 270.


This etching is related to, but in reverse of, the fresco to the right of the Royal Elephant in the Gallery of Francis I.  Done in 1548, the print was almost certainly executed before Boyvin’s engraving of the same subject (Fig.E.10), which, however, is in the same direction as the fresco.  The position of the horse’s head is more as it is in the painting than in Boyvin’s engraving, and the scythe in that print is missing in the etching as it is in the fresco.  Along Philyra’s side in the etching the drapery forms a continuous passage, while in the fresco and in Boyvin’s engraving it is divided into an upper and lower part.  Neither print has clouds behind the upper part of Philyra and the horse.  The etching is probably based on a lost drawing by Rosso made later than the one that served as Boyvin’s model.  In the etching the patterns of light and shade suggest Rosso’s style more than the even chiaroscuro in the engraving, although the rich drapery folds are in part an elaboration of the printmaker.

The print differs from Fantuzzi’s etchings and dates later than any etching known certainly by him.