E.80 Pietà

E.80 Fantuzzi, Pietà

Etching by Antonio Fantuzzi, 32.1 x 24.4 P (London).

Fig.E.80 (London)

Bartsch, XVI, 1818, 387, 28, as Anonymous, School of Fontainebleau, after Rosso.  Herbet, V, 1902, 63 (1969, 215), 28, as Anonymous, after Rosso.  Zerner, 1969, A.F.66 (Paris), probably 1543, after Rosso.

COLLECTIONS: Hamburg, inv. no. 1064.  London, 1850-5-27-60 (one heavy crease and two lighter ones across center).  New York, 59.596.25.  Paris, Ba 12, p.14 (trimmed at top and bottom).  Vienna, H.B.IV, p.41 (printed in red ink, and inscribed in brown ink at left center: B ).


Heinecken, II, 1788, 163, as Domenico del Barbiere after Salviati.

Kusenberg, 1931, 164, under B.69, mentions that Christ has the same pose as Adonis in Rosso’s Death of Adonis, 168, as Manner of Fantuzzi, after Rosso (with a printing error that it is after a relief in the Gallery of Francis I; see Kusenberg’s following entry), Pl. LXXX, 2 (Paris).

Cheney, 1963, 633, no. 5, as not after Salviati.

Steinberg, 1970, 238-239, and n. 12, as related to Rosso’s Death of Adonis.

Béguin, “Maître Roux,” 1972, 105, and Fig. 147 (Paris), as Fantuzzi after Rosso and related to his picture in Los Angeles.

Zerner, in EdF, 1972, 270, Fig., 271, no. 321 (Paris), as Fantuzzi after Rosso.

Zerner, IB, 33, 1979, 305 (London).

K. Wilson-Chevalier, in Fontainebleau, 1985, 243-245, no. 188 (Paris), as Fantuzzi after Rosso.

Carroll, 1987, 45, 46, 316-318, no. 101, with Fig. (London).

E. Hevers, in Zauber der Medusa, 1987, 288, no. VI, 19, Fig. (Hamburg), as combining the motives of the Descent from the Cross, the Entombment, and the Pietà, and as invented early in Rosso’s French period.

Joukovsky, 1987 bis, 9 and n. 19 (1992, 58 and n. 2), noted Christ’s pose is like that of the dead Meleager on Roman sarcophagi.

Joukovsky, 1992, 180, notes that its pathos is like that in the Death of Adonis in the Gallery of Francis I.

Mortari, 1992, no. 27, with Fig. (London).

Lebenztejn, 1992, 280, Fig. 97 (Paris), 284, believed with Zerner that Christ is seated on a sculptured sarcophagus, hence showing the cross and tomb together.

Boorsch, in French Renaissance, 1994, 243-245, no. 42, Fig. (Paris, Ba 12, vol. 1; the wm a small circle about 7 or 8 mm in diameter, seen most frequently at Fontainebleau), the original design, known from copies, probably for a painting or a shallow relief.

Franklin, 1994, 182, Pl. 144 (London), 183, certain figures, including Christ, from the Sansepolcro Pietà.


This print is derived from a lost drawing by Rosso that is known from three copies; the differences between the reversed etching and these copies are specified in the catalogue entry of the latter (D.71A, B, C).  St. John’s shoulder and back are covered with drapery in the print, probably to make him appear more decorous.  The rung of the ladder behind St. John is slightly higher in the etching.  Most noticeable is the slight enlargement of the print on all sides, especially at the top where the horizontal beam of the cross is fully visible.  This difference could be due to the fact that the copies of the lost drawing are cut at the top, but inasmuch as none of the copies shows the top of the cross and one shows a third rung in the ladder behind the Magdalen as in the print, but slightly differently placed, the addition of the top of the crossbeam, as well as the slight enlargement on the other three sides, seem to be due to Fantuzzi.  The closer limits of the scene shown in the drawings are quite like Rosso, as in his Pietà in the Louvre (Fig.P.23a) and in his painting in Los Angeles (Fig.P.24a).  There are other etchings by Fantuzzi after Rosso, such as his print (Fig.E.74) after the latter’s Enlightenment of Francis I (Fig.D.61A), that are also slightly enlarged.  In the case of the Pietà, the addition of the crossbar may have seemed to Fantuzzi a necessary correction to give the image a clearer setting.  Christ is also given a beard, perhaps because Fantuzzi thought its inclusion more correct.

Heinecken thought the print was by Domenico del Barbiere, an opinion that may be related to the inscription on the Vienna impression.  Zerner’s attribution to Fantuzzi seems correct, and is supported, in spite of slight alterations, by the faithful and sympathetic interpretation of Rosso’s image that is characteristic of this etcher.