Etching by Antonio Fantuzzi, 24.4 x 50.1 (London).
Bartsch and Herbet mention Fantuzzi’s monograph at the lower left but Zerner says he has never seen an impression with it. Nor have I. However, it is possible that an early impression somewhere shows this mark, which was early worn from the plate.
Bartsch, XVI, 1818, 351, 32, as Fantuzzi after a pupil of Primaticcio. Herbet, II, 1896, 268-269 (1985, 64-65), 2, as Fantuzzi, after one of Rosso’s frames in the Gallery of Francis I. Zerner, 1969, A.F.34 (Paris), as 1542-1543.
COLLECTIONS. London, 1850-5-27-37 IMP. SIZE. Paris, Eb 14d.
Kusenberg, 1931, 165.
Zerner, 1964, 75, as late 1542-1543.
Zerner, 1972, 114, Fig. 170.
Béguin and Pressouyre, 1972, 134.
Zerner, IB, 33, 1979, 252 (London).
This etching is related to the framing of the Twins of Catania in the Gallery of Francis I (Fig.P.22, V N a), but shows in both niches an old man in barbarian trousers rather than in one only with the second niche occupied by a partially clothed youth. At first it seems as though the print simply repeats the same design at either side, but there are really no repetitions of details. The differences between the etching and the frame in the gallery are discussed in the catalogue entry of the latter (P.22, V N). There it is also suggested that the print is dependent upon a lost drawing by Rosso. Although certain details, such as the decoration of the pilasters and the absence of any supports for the feet of the nude figures above, suggest Fantuzzi’s hand, the design of the whole, excluding the landscape, may closely reflect an early design by Rosso for this wall in the gallery before it was decided to make one of the niche figures a youth. The appearance of the fleur-de-lis below can be related to the old men, who would appear to be trousered Gauls, ancestors of the French. The substitution of a youth for one of them in the gallery introduced also the Trojan origins of the French into this decoration.
COPIES, PRINTS: E.56,8. Du Cerceau, etching. Herbet, IV, 1900, 302-303 (1969, 152-153), V (Grands Cartouches, Second Set), 10.
E.57,9. Du Cerceau, etching. Herbet, IV, 1900, 306 (1969, 156), VI (Petits Cartouches), 23. Closely copied from Fantuzzi’s print with the landscape, the small scene above it, and the F and R below the lateral figures omitted.