L.18 Rosso? Decoration of Rooms in Collaboration with Parmigianino

1524 – 1527

Frescoes, Palazzo, Via Giulia, Rome.

A.Q. Quintavalle, in his Il Parmigianino, Milan, 1948, 59, 79, n. 2, gives the report of the deceased Prof. Senatore Giovanni Mariotti that Rosso and Parmigianino “avrebbero decorato in collaborazione delle sale in uno dei palazzi della Signoria fiorentina in via Giulia a Roma, presso il Tevere… che, malgrado tutte le richerche, non mi è stato fino ad oggi possible individuare.”  This report is mentioned by Barocchi, 1950, 251; Brugnoli, 1962, 341, 349, n. 7; Borea, 1965; Fagiolo dell’Arco, 1970, 92; and Ciardi, 1994, n. 103.1

Brugnoli suggested that the palazzo referred to could be that at Via Giulia 79, which was formerly the palazzo of the “Console di Firenze.”  But it seems that this building, the Palazzo Sangallo-Medici-Clarelli, which was built by Antonio da Sangallo for himself, may only have been begun in the 1530s (see Tafuri, in Salerno, Spezzaforte, Tafuri, 1973, 272-279).  There are, of course, other palaces on this street that were owned by the “Signoria fiorentina” but until more information is available there is no way to know which one Mariotti meant.2

It is difficult to believe that Vasari, in 1550 or in 1568, would not have known about the decoration – frescoes, it would seem – of some rooms by these artists in a Florentine palace in Rome.  He is in other respects very well informed on Rosso’s, and Parmigianino’s, achievements in that city.

That Rosso knew Parmigianino seems to be indicated by what Vasari wrote, in his “Life” of Giovanni Antonio Lappoli (Vasari-Milanesi, VI, 10), that Rosso was a friend of Paolo Valdambrini, Secretary to Clement VII, through whom Lappoli met Parmigianino (see also Freedberg, 1950, 59, 64).  Rosso had most likely met Lappoli in Florence and had made a drawing for him in Arezzo in 1524 (L.17) on his way to Rome shortly before Lappoli went to Rome himself.  Leone de Castris, 1988, 39, thought that while there is no proof of a collaboration of these artists, they could have known each other through their association with Baviera and the prints that he had had made by Caraglio from drawings by Rosso and Parmigianino.  It is very possible that for his Marriage of the Virgin engraved by Caraglio Parmigianino had a drawing obtained from Rosso that had been made for his own Sposalizio of 1523 (P.13).


1 On Rosso and Parmigianino, see Marabottini, 1969, 92, 96-97,  262, n. 262.

2 See Spezzaforte, in Salerno, Spezzaforte, Tafuri, 1973, 260-264; Pratesi, 1989, 16-18, 70-72.