Cartouche with a Reclining Nude Woman holding Her Breast and a Reclining Nude Youth Framing a Vertical Landscape
Etching by Antonio Fantuzzi, 23.1 x 39.5 (Zerner, London).
Herbet, V, 1902, 76 (1969, 76), 126, as Anonymous, School of Fontainebleau. Zerner, 1969, A.F.43 (Paris), as 1542-1543.
COLLECTIONS: London. Paris, Eb 14d (with illegible scribbles in left tondo).
Lévêque, 1984, 125, Fig. (Paris).
Carroll, 1987, 264, n. 1, under no. 82.
The outer sections of this etching are related to the frame of the Cleobis and Biton in the Gallery of Francis I and to the slightly different tapestry of this wall (see P.22, V S). The etching seems to go back to a lost drawing by Rosso, the design of which was significantly changed before the decoration of the Cleobis and Biton wall was actually executed in the gallery. Parts of the lost drawing would then seem to have been used by those who prepared the cartoon for the tapestry.
It would be possible to surmise that the major differences between what appears in the print and what appears in the gallery are due to Fantuzzi having worked only from a drawing for one side of this wall, which he then repeated, adding figures at the bottom from another drawing by Rosso, and then combining these elements to frame a vertical rectangular area in the center. This would also account for the overall shape of the print, which is proportionally narrower than the wall bays in the gallery. But the evidence of the etching of Rosso’s Venus and Minerva in a vertical rectangular format (Fig.E.138) suggests that at an early moment in the planning of the gallery, some, at least, of the large frescoes were to have this shape. Furthermore, it is possible that at some time the decorated wall areas were to be higher, and the wainscoting below lower. Thus, Fantuzzi’s print shows the wall not narrower but higher. This would mean that the etching was based on a drawing of Phase I of the designing of the gallery, between 1531/1532 and 1534, before the stuccoes were begun and when the basic arrangement of the wall would have been established.
For another, anonymous, print that uses motifs related to the Cleobis and Biton wall, see E.145 (Fig.E.145).
COPY: E.57,4. Du Cerceau, etching. Herbet, IV, 1900, 306 (1969, 155), VI (Petits Cartouches), 13. Copied with only minor differences and without the landscape.