L.47 Designs for Festival Decorations and for Triumphal Entries


Vasari, 1568, II, 211 (Vasari-Milanesi, V, 170), in the French part of the “Life” of Rosso: “… fece disegni … per abigliamenti … di trionfi…”

Rosso’s experience with the designing of temporary structures for triumphal entries goes back to late 1515 when he was responsible for one of the triumphal arches erected for the entry of Leo X into Florence (L.12).  Vasari records that he designed half of the “ornamenti” that were made at Fontainebleau in honor of Charles V’s visit in December 1539, and goes on to say that “… le cose, che fece il Rosso d’Archi, di colossi, altre cose simili furono … le piu stupende, che da altri insino allora fussero state fatte mai” (see L.48, where other sources are cited).  It is possible that Rosso’s Dream of Hercules (Fig.D.78a; Fig.E.17) was invented for a triumphal arch erected for this occasion (Carroll, 1987, 31, 344-346, no. 108, with Fig.).  His Figure Costumed as Hercules (Fig.E.160) may also have been made for some event related to this visit.  For the city of Paris Rosso designed an over life-size statue of Hercules in silver that was given to the emperor on 4 January 1540 (L.59).

This is the full extent of the present knowledge of Rosso’s activity of this kind.  There may, however, have been other occasions for which Francis I had Rosso design festival decorations (see n. 1 of the entry on lost costume designs, L.49, for some indication of events for which Rosso might have worked, supplying, perhaps, not only costume designs, but designs for temporary structures as well).