Summary on the Construction and Decoration of The Gallery of Francis I

The construction of the gallery was begun at some time after the specifications for it were set down in the document of 28 April 1528.1  The interior of the gallery was to be approximately 64 m. long and 6 wide with casement windows in the long north and south walls.  At both the north and the south side there was to be erected a cabinet, about 4 m. square, with a window in each across from the one in the other cabinet, the specifications probably implying in the center of the gallery.  Within the gallery there was to be built, at the east end, a chapel, and at the west end, another cabinet.  A stairway was to be constructed at the west end to lead down to the buildings of the abbey that existed here.  Finally, there were to be built five chimneys to serve the gallery and cabinets most appropriately.  Construction seems to have been sufficiently well advanced by December 1529 for the gallery to be referred to as already existing in the document recording the purchase of half the land on which it is situated.2  On 28 August 1533 payments were made to painters and other workers for the painting in the gallery of “plusieurs histories anciennes et modernes” within the months of July, August, and September of that year.  The two records of these payments differ in that one indicates work in the present and the other in the future, a difference which might be explained by the fact that the date of payment falls approximately in the middle of the quarter for which the payments were made.  But, whatever the length of time, it was within this third quarter of 1533 that painters were working on the decoration of the gallery.3  Although this is the earliest documented reference to work on the decoration of the gallery Rosso’s concern with this decoration must antedate this moment.  For Vasari indicates (see below) that the two oil paintings that Rosso made and that were placed in the center of the east and west walls of the gallery were painted before Primaticcio arrived in France.  It appears that he arrived some time between mid- or late January and late March 1532; he is documented as already working at Fontainebleau on 2 July 1533.  Rosso’s lost paintings must, therefore, have been done before the latter date and quite possibly even before the spring of 1532.  As it is known that they were oval in shape they must have been made for a setting planned for them as oval pictures were not made as independent paintings at this time.4  Furthermore, as Vasari says they were placed in the gallery it must almost certainly be concluded that they were painted for that room.  Rosso would, then, have begun considering the decoration of the gallery before mid-1533 and probably before the spring of 1532, by which time the planned cabinet at the west and the chapel at the east could have been eliminated from the project.5  However, even without the evidence related to the oval paintings it would have to be assumed that there was a lengthy period of preparation for the decoration of the gallery before the painters and other workers began to execute the decoration in the gallery itself in the third quarter of 1533.

Given the documents of payment for this period, it is very probable that a list of payments for the painting, stuccowork and gilding at Fontainebleau for the slightly later period of 31 December 1533 – 24 March 1535 must also include payments for work done in the gallery.  The heading of this list mentions not only the Chambre du Roi and the Chambre de la Reine but also the gallery.  Unfortunately, while the first two rooms, done under Primaticcio’s direction, are mentioned in some of the individual payments recorded in this list, the gallery is not.  At the same time not every entry in this list states the location of the work for which payment is made, or gives any other indication from which a location can be determined.  However, four payments for stuccowork in an unspecified location are made to artists that immediately subsequent lists indicate were active in the gallery.  Two of these payments also give the period of time for which they are made: one to Francesco Pellegrino for work done in the period from 12 April 1534 to 24 March 1535, the second to André Selon (elsewhere named Seron) for work done between 24 November 1534 to 24 March 1535.  It may, therefore, be necessary to recognize that stuccowork in the gallery was begun at least by 12 April 1534.  Following upon this list that gives payments for work to 24 March 1535 appears a list of payments only for stuccowork in the gallery from April 1535 to 34 April 1536.  Payments for stuccowork continued to be made until into the period after 1 January 1538.

It has generally been recognized, and most probably correctly on the basis of the evidence of the documents, that the execution of the stuccoes in the gallery was begun and significantly advanced before the execution of the frescoes was started.  The list of payments from April 1535 to 30 April 1536 is headed as referring to both painting and stuccowork and contains within it payments specifically for painting.  The last item in this list records a payment to Rosso, “conducteur desdits ouvrages de stucq et painture,” probably for April 1536.  This is the earliest documentary reference to Rosso in relation to the gallery.6  But the list as a whole seems to indicate that the frescoes may have been begun as early as April 1535, or just one year after the stuccoes would seem to have been begun.  Rosso is then paid every month from April 1536, probably, through November 1536 which would seem to indicate the period of his most personal supervision of the frescoes and the period in which most of them were done.7  He may well have participated in the execution of them himself.  There is one payment in 1537 to Badouin for “un grand pourtraict pour l’un des tableaux… dedans la grande gallerie,” which has been thought to refer to Primaticcio’s Danaë, but this is not proveable.  Within the period after 1 January 1538 there are a few more indications in the documents of painting in the gallery.  One item again records a payment to Rosso as director of the project.  The document of 2 April 1539 recording the revised specifications for the wood paneling, seats, and floor mentions the paintings and stuccoes as having been made.  Certainly it may be concluded that the paintings and stuccoes were completed by the time that the wood paneling, seats, and floor were installed sometime before 21 October 1539 when Scibec de Carpi received his final payment for them.8

If the stuccoes were begun in April 1534 and the frescoes not until a year later it leaves unclear what the payment of 28 August 1533 was for.  The document refers to painters and other workers concerned with painting that the king ordered for his “grant gallerye.”  Before the stuccowork was begun extensive preparations had to be made.  The walls would have to have been prepared to receive stuccoes and frescoes but also working drawings and cartoons would have to have been made for them.  It is therefore likely that this payment is for these kinds of preparatory work.  The huge space of the gallery would have provided good working space to make large cartoons.

One detail in the chronology of the gallery that needs to be clarified is the moment of the elimination of the south cabinet and hence also the moment of the decision to add inside the gallery the wall that contains the Danaë by Primaticcio set within a frame designed by Rosso.  The chapel at the east end and the cabinet at the west end that appear in the specifications of 28 April 1528 never again appear in the documents; their disappearance from the project probably occurred very early, at the very beginning of Rosso’s consideration of the decoration of the gallery.9  The north cabinet remained a part of the project.  The south cabinet was at least started.  As indicated in the document of final payment of 12 May 1535, the carpentry work of Josse Maillart in the galley and its adjoining cabinets was certified as done on 6 March 1535 [new style].  This is the work the specifications of which in general terms were set down in the document of 28 April 1528 concerning carpentry.  Almost a year before this work was certified another set of masonry specifications was made, on 14 April 1534 (as known from the document of final payment of 18 February 1535 for work certified as done on 13 November 1534), for the construction of six kitchens and six larders carrying above them a terrace walkway adjoining the full length of the gallery on its south side.  The kitchens and larders were at ground level while the terrace was approximately at the level of the floor of the gallery although probably slightly lower.  After the foundation piers of the kitchens and larders were completed, by 13 November 1534, the carpenter Josse Maillart was contracted to build the centering for the arches that these piers would support, arches that in turn would support the terrace.  This contract was made on 4 March 1535, two days before his earlier work in the gallery and the cabinets was certified as finished. In this contract it is specified that in two of the larders would be enclosed the cabinet of the gallery, which can only mean the south cabinet.  It can also only mean the ground level support of this cabinet.10  Here it must be recognized that the documents never speak of terraces (in the plural) which they might have had there been a cabinet above the ground level, with one terrace at its west, and one at its east side.  It is therefore probable that as early as 14 April 1534, when the masonry specifications of the kitchens, larders and terrace were set down, that the destruction of whatever had been built of the superstructure of the south cabinet was determined.11  By this time the carpenter Josse Maillart had probably done some work on it for which he was later paid.  In the course of doing the masonry work of the kitchens, larders and terrace between April and November 1534 the upper part of the south cabinet was destroyed, or it was destroyed shortly thereafter while Josse Maillart was constructing the centering for the arches that supported the terrace.  A false window was then set into the center of the south façade, giving this façade the appearance that it has in the small fresco under the Venus and Minerva (Fig.P.22, I N g).12  Inside the gallery the entrance to the south cabinet was filled in providing a new central wall area which was to receive Rosso’s Nymph of Fontainebleau (E.103), known from the engraving by Milan and Boyvin (see below).

What cannot be known is how much before 14 April 1534 the decision to abolish the south cabinet was made.  The evidence provided by the oval shape of a copy of a lost drawing by Rosso of his Education of Achilles (D.53) suggests an earlier scheme of alternating horizontal oval and horizontal rectangular pictures on the north and south walls, which may have followed an even earlier scheme with some upright rectangular frescoes.13  The abandonment of the scheme of horizontal oval and rectangular pictures is probably related to the addition of the center section of the south wall to the gallery for which a horizontal oval picture was designed to be the only such picture in the gallery (perhaps from the shape of the pictures that were to be in the cabinets, on which, see below).  As Rosso would have seen that the decision to make this change effected the comparative appearance of other parts of the gallery, it would have to have been made before the stuccoers began to work.  These other parts would have been the center wall area of each of the four triads of walls at the east and west of the north and south sides of the gallery where the large frescoes were changed from oval to rectangular.  The redesigning of these four walls need not have taken a great deal of time but one should probably calculate a month or so for this activity.  Hence it is possible to assume that the decision to abandon the south cabinet took place within the first three months of 1534.14

The stylistic evidence of the stuccoes and paintings in the gallery is sufficiently diverse to indicate that they were not all designed in one period.15  In the case of the Scene of Sacrifice (VII N) two versions are known.  The first version, known from copies of two lost drawings by Rosso (D.50A-D, and D.51) and from an engraving by Delaune (E.50) derived from one of these copies, is closely related to the work that can be recognized as done early in Rosso’s French period before the execution of decoration of the gallery was begun.  Stylistically the second and executed version of the Scene of Sacrifice (Fig.P.22, VII N a) can be associated with his Death of Adonis (Fig.P.22, III S a) that seems to have been designed in response to the death of the Dauphin on 10 August 1536.

Between an early phase of activity in making designs for the gallery before the stuccoers began their work, and a late phase indicated by the executed Scene of Sacrifice and the Death of Adonis, another can be recognized.  This phase includes compositions the style of which shows Rosso expanding the character of his art not only as an extension of his earlier compositions but also on the basis of renewed interest in the Roman art of Raphael and Michelangelo.  To some extent this interest is determined by Rosso’s memory of what he knew of their work when he was in Rome himself and which now he recalled as the requirements of the decoration of the gallery necessitated and encouraged further and further invention.  He had also Raphael’s works in Francis I’s collection to study as well as Michelangelo’s Leda, and possibly drawings by him as well that Antonio Mini brought to France in 1532.  Rosso must also have known something of Michelangelo’s Last Judgement, the cartoon of which was finished by 25 September 1534.  Knowledge of figures in this work by Michelangelo is clearly evident in Rosso’s Revenge of Nauplius (Fig.P.22, III N a).  This second phase of activity in making designs for the gallery would seem to have begun after the execution of the decoration in the gallery had begun, or not before April 1534 when the documents suggest the beginning of that work.  However, as the references to Michelangelo’s Last Judgement could not have appeared until after September of that year and as some time must be allowed for the source of these references to arrive in France, it is reasonable to suppose that the second phase of Rosso’s activity belongs to 1535 and 1536.  The documents indicate that the frescoes in the gallery were not begun before April 1535, and Rosso’s own work in the gallery is documented as having begun probably only in April of the following year.  Throughout these months it can be assumed that Rosso was engaged in making designs for the gallery.  The second phase could have continued until the beginning of a last moment, beginning in mid-August 1536, when a few significant changes were made in the gallery.  But it is likely that already by April 1536 the majority of the designs of the second period had been made.

The first phase of the activity in making designs for the gallery must have begun at the time that Rosso made his two lost oil paintings for the east and west walls, by which time the present full length of the gallery had been determined with the elimination of the planned west cabinet and of the chapel at the east.  Done, according to Vasari, before Primatiocio arrived in France, this first phase has to have begun at the latest early in 1532 and very possibly already within 1531.  It can be assumed that this phase lasted until the time that the stuccoers began their work in the gallery perhaps as early as April 1534.  By this time the project of the south cabinet had been abandoned and the center section of the south wall had become included within the scheme of the gallery to receive Rosso’s Nymph of Fontainebleau (P.22 IV S; E.103).  Before this moment there would have been invented an over-all design of alternating large rectangular and horizontal oval frescoes for the north and south walls, with upright oval oil paintings on the end walls, and including also a North Cabinet and a South Cabinet with a high doorway into each surrounded by decoration in the center of the north and south sides of the gallery.  Late in this phase the South Cabinet was eliminated and its entrance closed to form a new wall area in the gallery intended to receive a large horizontal oval scene while all the other large gallery pictures in fresco would be rectangular.

To the first phase one can assign the two lost oval oil paintings as well as the surviving decoration of the West Wall and the decoration of the East Wall as it is known from d’Orbay’s drawing (Fig.d’Orbay drawing b), the style of both of which is similar to that of Rosso’s early French works.  On the same stylistic basis the following parts of the gallery can be assigned to this first phase: the Education of Achilles (II N), in its oval (D.53) and its executed rectangular format (Fig.P.22, II N a; but not the huge frescoed nudes that flank the central fresco, which seem to belong to Phase III), the entire wall of the Loss of Perpetual Youth (Fig.P.22, II S a), the first version of the Scene of Sacrifice (see above) and the stuccoes of this wall (Fig.P.22, VII N a), the Royal Elephant (Fig.P.22, VI N a), and the stuccoes surrounding it (but not the flanking frescoes of Saturn and Phylira and Europa and the Bull which seem to belong to Phase II), the entire wall of the Unity of the State (Fig.P.22, VI S a), the stuccoes flanking the Battle of Centaurs and Lapiths (Fig.P.22, I S a; but not the frescoes of this wall or the stucco relief (Fig.P.22, I S c) beneath the central picture, which seem to belong to Phase II), and the stuccoes framing the Revenge of Nauplius (Fig.P.22, III N a; the central fresco seems to have been designed in Phase II).  It is possible that like the Education of Achilles, the Loss of Perpetual Youth, the Royal Elephant, and the Unity of the State had at first horizontal oval formats.  Late within this phase Rosso would have designed the wall (IV S) containing his Nymph of Fontainebleau (but not, possibly, the compositions of the two small oval frescoes that decorate this wall which could have been designed in Phase III).

In the second phase of 1535 to April 1536 can be situated the designs of the following parts of the gallery: the entire walls containing the Enlightenment of Francis I (Fig.P.22, VII S a), the Venus and Minerva (Fig.P.22, I N a), the Twins of Catania (Fig.P.22 V N a), and the Cleobis and Biton (Fig.P.22 V S a), as well as the Funeral of Hector, known from two copies of a lost drawing (D.58A,B) and from a print by Fantuzzi (E.72), the composition that would seem was originally intended for the location where the Death of Adonis (III S) was actually painted, the Europa and Philyra frescoes flanking the Royal Elephant (VI N), the Battle of Centaurs and Lapiths fresco, the frescoes around it, and the stucco relief beneath it (I S), the Revenge of the Nauplius fresco (III N), and the decoration of the entrance to the North Cabinet of which the figure of Fame is known from an engraving by Domenico del Barbiere (E.5) and the Victory from an anonymous etching (E.141).

In the third phase, beginning after mid-August 1536 and probably not extending beyond November of that year, can be placed the entire wall of the Death of Adonis (III S), the Scene of Sacrifice fresco (VII N), the huge nudes flanking the Education of Achilles (II N), and possibly the two small oval frescoes of the center south wall (IV S).

These three phases of designing the decorations the Gallery of Francis I are largely determined by what can be concluded from the variations of the style of the frescoes and stuccoes in relation to the evidence of the documents.  In general, the resulting division into an early, middle, and late phase seems satisfactory.  But it may not hold for all details. T he stuccoes flanking the Combat of Centaurs and Lapiths appear in the smallness of their forms to be early while much of the other decoration of this wall seems to belong to a later period of larger inventions.  But it could be that the smallness of the stuccoes indicates a kind of intimacy that makes a deliberate stylistic and thematic contrast to the bigness and physical vulgarity of the other decoration of this wall.  The same may be true of the Revenge of Nauplius and the stuccoes that surround it.  Therefore all the parts could in both instances have been invented at the same time.  But there still remains the possibility that the effect of contrast resulted from these walls having been designed in two periods which need not lessen the thematic significance of the differences of their parts.  It is suggested below that Rosso’s Contest of Athena and Poseidon which, on the basis of its style, would seem to have been invented around 1536, may have had a place in the decoration of the East Wall the scheme of which would seem to have been designed early. In this case it could well be that the Contest, which would have been quite small, was invented later when the time came to insert it into the scheme of the East Wall.  This may also have been the case with the two small oval paintings above the Danaë, although they belonged to the earlier scheme of Rosso’s Nymph of Fontainebleau and are found in the Milan-Boyvin engraving.  But as executed in the gallery they seem late.  From other evidence, such as the two versions of the Scene of Sacrifice, it is clear that the decoration of the Gallery of Francis I did not remain fixed from its original conception to its ultimate execution.  It could not even have been conceived at any one moment, but rather over a period of time.  The evolution of its overall conception became the evolution of the conception of its parts.  This in turn became related to the actual execution of those parts.  Within this process not every detail can now be precisely dated.

Like the different designs of the sixteen wall areas, including the entrance to the North Cabinet, and the complex iconography of the entire room, the changes of style within the deocorative scheme of the gallery give that scheme an additional dramatic rhythm that it might well have lacked had the decoration of the entire gallery been wholly conceived at one early moment.  For those parts of the gallery that seem to have been designed first have, in spite of their own variety, a rather static and even-tempered quality that, carried throughout the gallery, would have been monotonous.  Designed at one time, the gallery might have had the appearance of a mere enlargement of the decoration of the small Pavilion of Pomona as planned or as executed.  This would have been a matter not of the ornamental aspects alone but of the narrative scenes as well.  For such pictures as the Loss of Perpetual Youth, the Unity of the State, and the Royal Elephant, unusual as their subjects are, are not visually very exciting.  It is quite possible that Rosso, as he worked on the designs for the gallery and as his confidence with the project increased, sought both greater diversity and at the same time greater expressive concentration, wall for wall and within the entire scheme.  Hence, perhaps, once the center section of the south side was introduced into the scheme, he eliminated the regularly alternating oval and rectangular center frescoes, making them all rectangular instead, and introduced the very large stucco figures flanking the end frescoes of the Enlightenment of Francis I at VII South and the Venus and Minerva at I North to relate to the large stucco female triads flanking the central Nymph of Fontainebleau, itself conceived as a relief, replaced by Primaticcio’s frescoed Danaë, at IV South.  A greater boldness in the conception of each wall, or at least of some of them—in the large central frescoes as well as in the elements that frame them—also brought about a further counter-force to the perspective pull of the length of the gallery determined by its architectural dimensions.

The woodwork in the gallery must have been designed by Scibec de Carpi in collaboration with Rosso’s plans and with the entire scheme of the structure, and decoration of the gallery.16  The woodwork could have been designed by the time the stuccoers began to work perhaps as early as April 1534.  A payment to Scibec of 23 August 1535 indicates that some work had been done, perhaps by that time only on the seats, in oak, possibly only for the framework, and in brazilwood, for some of the carvings.  But from the revised specifications of 2 April 1539 it is clear that the original specifications were for woodwork on all four walls of the gallery and of the (North) cabinet, the embrassures of the windows and doors, and the floor of the gallery and of the cabinet.  Work had already been done, begun by Scibec and continued by Joachin Raoullant, in ebony, red and yellow brazilwood, and other foreign woods.  But the document of 23 August 1539 indicates that because these woods were difficult to work and because the King no longer found the original specifications pleasing it was decided that all the woodwork, except the floor, would be of walnut, with the unseen structural element of oak.  Scibec was to employ as many workers as necessary to proceed without any interruptions until all the work was finished.  Although the document gives no indication of the sudden need to get the project completed it would seem that the impending visit of Charles V was the reason.  The final payment to Scibec was made on 21 October 1539.  Two months later the Emperor visited Fontainebleau.

The specifications of 2 April 1539, which may be new only in regard to the wood that was to be used, give an extensive description of what was to be made.  By this time Rosso’s stuccoes and frescoes had been done—so the document itself states—and the scheme indicated must be one that was devised long before to match their arrangement and relation to the ceiling and its beams.  The document specifies that under the decoration of each of the north and south walls of each bay there were to be seven framed panels with the center panel wider.  That panel was to be about 2 meters wide and decorated in low relief with the arms of the King, festoons and other antique motifs.  At this center panel there was to be a seat about 1.64 meters long and about 0.44 meters deep to accommodate two persons.  The seat was to be supported by scrolls in the form of lion’s paws with other antique decorative elements, and to have three arm rests, in the middle and at the ends in the form of scrolls and animals (bestions).  Of the six narrower panels flanking the broad center one, two were to be decorated in low relief with a salamander and a tablet carved with the motto that accompanies the salamander, two with the crowned F and two tablets with mottoes, and two were to be in the form of pilasters placed under the beams of the ceiling.  Small framed panels beneath the seven panels would form a base.  The end walls were to be similarly treated and have a seat beneath their pictures.  The cabinet was to have the same kind of woodwork with a seat against the wall across from the fireplace.  Gilt was to be applied to the carvings and elsewhere as fitting.  The floor of the gallery and the cabinet was to be made of oak lozenges and squares with bands of “boys de quesse,”17 walnut, or other wood.

While the design of the modern floor in the gallery is not related to the one planned in 1539,18 the woodwork of the walls on the north and south walls, restored as it is, and with none of the panels probably original, reflects the scheme that Scibec was to make.19  It is possible, however, that the scheme was not entirely followed.  In the gallery the seats are wider than specified in 1539 and do not have a center arm rest.  There is now no seat under the Royal Elephant because a later doorway replaces it, nor one under the Danaë, nor at the wholly modern wall across from it where once was the doorway of the North Cabinet.  The absence of one under the Danaë could be related to what was originally executed, in spite of the specifications of 1539, as seems also to have been the case at the end walls.  D’Orbay’s drawing of the East Wall shows no seat.  The pilasters specified in 1535 are not found in the gallery but the central panel of each triad at the sides of each large central panel projects slightly forward to emphasize its position under the beam of the ceiling.  This reflects the intention of the originally planned pilasters without breaking the unified effect of the seven-panel wainscot as pilasters would have.  The salamander appears on the center panel of each triad and the crowned F on the two panels flanking it.

The woodwork of the end walls is not now related to what was originally there when the center section beneath the oval picture of each was less high and the sides had doors and false doors.  The ceiling seems to follow the original design but its original color and detail have been lost.20

1 Vanaise, 1973, 183, and n. 72, indicated that Francis I’s first idea to enlarge the château went back to the autumn of 1527.  Guillaume, in Béguin, Guillaume, Roy, 1985, 24, n. 35, 33, suggested that at this time the gallery was conceived.  Gilles Le Breton was occupied at Fontainebleau since 1 August 1537 (Prinz and Kecks, 1985, 353).

2 This was apparently the land west of a path or road to the lake that was, according to the specifications of 1528, to pass through two arches under the gallery; see Bray, 1935, 202, 203, plans opp. 174 and 182; Pressouyre, 1974, 30; and Guillaume, 1979, 230, 232, Fig. 9, 239, n. 19.  Babelon, 1989, 203, thought the entire gallery was originally carried on open arches, but the specifications of 1528 specify only two arches to accommodate the path.  Babelon also thought this path was closed when the Appartement des Bains was created, which did not take place until 1543–1545 (see following note).  But it may well be that with the purchase of the land in December 1529 the closing of the path and the elimination of the two arches were already prescribed, although Babelon believed the road was still there in 1531.  Or this could instead have happened when the six kitchens and six larders at ground level under the arches of a terrace were begun in April 1534 (see below).  Vanaise, 1973, 177, stated that an unpublished document indicates that at least half of the gallery was constructed by 30 September 1531.

3 A document of late 1530–1532 (DOC.14) records Rosso’s purchase of pigments for frescoes for 300 gold scudoes; this very large sum indicates a quantity of pigments for a large project, or for a number of projects. One is inclined to believe that some, at least, of these pigments were intended for the frescoes of the gallery.

4 Shearman, 1980, 8, believed the two paintings were made as independent pictures without the gallery in mind and that the whole decoration of the gallery was then arranged around these pre-existing works.  But this is most unlikely, especially as the paintings were oval—unless one thinks of them as having been cut down from their rectangular shape, which again seems unlikely given the importance of the project for the French king who did not have to make do with two paintings that Rosso just happened to make for him.  Shearman related his idea to the placement of other pictures already owned by the king in stucco frames in the Appartement des Bains from about 1535 (with reference to Cox-Rearick, 1972, 10–11, who gave the period for the decoration of this suite as 1535–1540).  Although the bathing tubs seem to have been installed in 1536 (see Laborde, I, 1877, 108, and Prinz and Kecks, 1985, 422–423), so far as I know there is no documentation for the decoration of the Appartement des Bains until after 1541 (see Dimier, 1900, 279–284).  Béguin, 1989, 837, and n. 54, found Shearman’s suggestion “very questionable” and noted also the much later execution of the Appartement des Bains in 1543–1545.

5 The specifications of 1528 for five brick chimneys could signify one chimney for the gallery proper and one each for its adjoining cabinets and chapel.  The frescoed view of the gallery (Fig.P.22, I N g) shows six chimneys on the south side as do Du Cerceau’s views (Fig.Du Cerceau View BM Drawing, Gallery; Fig.Du Cerceau Print, Gallery).  Du Cerceau’s view from the north (Fig.Du Cerceau North detail) shows one chimney connected to the North Cabinet.  The six southern chimneys are probably related to the kitchens under the terrace, the specifications for which called for “six cheminées” (see above, 18 February 1535 and Pressouyre, “Cadre architectural,” 1972, 23, n. 39).  Although the five chimneys specified in 1528 seem to have been intended for fireplaces in the gallery and its appended rooms, there do not seem to have been any fireplaces in the completed gallery.  Perhaps the gallery was heated by the system used in the kitchens and then in the Appartement des Bains.

6 There is a document (DOC.29; recorded, it seems, also in DOC.30 of 5 July 1534) probably of 1534 that records a payment to Rosso of 200 livres tournois above and beyond his ordinary wages for the year ending 31 December 1533.  There is some possibility that this extraordinary payment indicates Rosso’s activity in the gallery.

7 Vanaise, 1973, 185, thought the painting was first begun in April 1536.

8 Adhémar, 1974, wrongly believed from his reading of Vanaise, 1973, and of McAllister Johnson, “Diplomatic Correspondence,” 1972, that the stuccoes were by Primaticcio and that in 1540 three-fourths of the gallery remained incomplete.

9 The chapel would seem to have been replaced by the Chapelle Haute du Roi built above the Chapel of Saint Saturnin, the latter contracted for on 5 August 1531 (A.4).  The cabinet at the west end could have been a study planned to be related to the library above (on libraries and studies in French Renaissance chateaux and on the library at Fontainebleau, see Prinz and Kecks, 1985, 97, 141–146, 423).

10 The frescoed view in the gallery of the exterior of the building shows twelve arches (for the six kitchens and the six larders?) with a pier in the very center immediately below the false window where the South Cabinet had been (Fig.P.22, I N g).  It could be that the two arches here—one to the left of this pier and one to the right—are those of the two larders that enclosed the foundations of the South Cabinet as indicated in the relevant document.  Du Cerceau’s drawn view from the south (Fig.Du Cerceau View, BM Drawing; Fig.Du Cerceau BM Drawing, Gallery) shows nine arches; his printed view (Fig.Du Cerceau Print View; Fig.Du Cerceau Print, Gallery) and plan (Fig.Du Cerceau Engraving Plan; Fig.Du Cerceau Engraving, detail) show eleven arches.  These would seem to be incorrect.

11 The existence of a South Cabinet and the conception of the terrace would seem to be incompatible.  Guillaume, in Béguin, Guillaume, Roy, 1985, 36, 38–39, thought that at first the terrace was built with the South Cabinet in place and with a small passage around its south side.  Then when it was recognized as an obstacle the cabinet was destroyed.  I am inclined to believe that the destruction of the cabinet followed from the decision to build the terrace, and that both are related to the new conception of the interior of the gallery and of the relation of the south façade to the court in front of it.  On this relationship, see Prinz and Kecks, 1985, 425.

12 Blind windows are also found in the Chapel of Saint Saturnin (A.4).

13 A scheme of horizontal oval frescoes alternating with upright rectangular frescoes set within a wall of somewhat greater height above a lower wainscoting is suggested by the upright rectangular shape of an etching of the Venus and Minerva scene (E.138) and the upright rectangular shape of the central area of an etching by Fantuzzi (E.87) related to the Cleobis and Biton wall.

14 Zerner, in Actes, 1975, 34, n. 6, believed that the entrance to the South Cabinet would have been in the woodwork at the center of the south wall, which would have been of the same height as elsewhere in the gallery.  Shearman, 1980, 1, 13, n. 4, believed the same.  This, then, would have been the same arrangement of the entrance to the North Cabinet.  But the decoration of this entrance wall as described by Dan and Guilbert (see Chapter VIII) indicates a bust-length figure of the king above the door and large painted figures at the sides of the door.  Thus there has to be envisioned wall areas at the sides of the door, indicating a door rising higher than the general level of the paneling.  This would prescribe a bust-length portrait above it instead of a full-length figure that would have been possible had there been a continuous wall above the paneling.  See below on Mariette’s reference to the entrance as an “arcade.”

15 See Béguin, “Maître Roux,” 1972, 144.

16 Lossky, “Dessins,” 1971, 35, stated that the invention of the wood paneling is attributed to Rosso, but so far as I know it has always been assigned to Scibec de Carpi, who is documented as having executed it and directed its execution.  Zerner, in EdF, 1972, 326, under no. 424 bis suggested that Scibec may have been served by “projects” of Rosso, an idea also expressed by Béguin and Pressouyre, 1972, 124.  It seems to me necessary that Scibec worked in conjunction with Rosso, but the design of the woodwork in its remade state gives no stylistic evidence that Rosso designed the original paneling.  There are five drawings in the Staatliche graphische Sammlungen, Munich (see below) that have been related to the wood paneling in the Gallery of Francis I (see Grancsay, Stephen V., “The Armor of Henry II of France from the Louvre Museum,” Bulletin, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, XI, 2, 1952, 74, 76, Figs., 78, suggesting that the drawings were made by Primaticcio; Pressouyre, “Cadre architectural,” 1972, 20; and Béguin and Pressouyre, 1972, 141, with Figs.).  The drawings were fully published by Thomas, 1959, 36–38, with Figs. 31–36.  All are done in pen and brown ink over black chalk.  There is no reason to believe that they were done by Rosso.  If made for the paneling in the gallery, as Thomas believes, they could be by Scibec but this cannot be proved at the present time.  One drawing (no. 14737, 11.7 x 16.4, Fig.Munich 14737) is related to the central motif of the broad center panel under the Unity of the State (“Galerie,” RdA, 1972, 21, Fig. 19; Fig.Paneling VI S), and would seem to be a study for it or for the original panel of which the present one may be a copy.  Another drawing (no. 34557, 14.1 x 13.9, Fig.Munich 34557) showing a vertical relief with an F appears four times in the gallery, twice under the Danaë, but without the fleur-de-lis above the F, and twice under the nineteenth century Nymph of Fontainebleau.  As the panels seem to have been shifted around in the gallery the latter could still be original or copies of original panels showing the fleur-de-lis.  The missing fleur-de-lis of the former seems strange especially as these panels are across from the others.  The third drawing (no. 14667, 16.3 x 6.3, Fig.Munich 14667) shows a vertical motif that appears seventeen times in the gallery, once on the north side, and four times under the Royal Elephant, the Venus and Minerva, the Combat of Centaurs and Lapiths, and the Unity of the State (Fig.Paneling VI S).  Thomas believes that a fourth drawing (no. 34558, 13.7 x 7.5, Fig.Munich 34558) would be for one of the small vertical panels the oval of which is filled with a salamander, but I do not find sufficient similarity with anything in the gallery that would verify this.  The fifth drawing (no. 14733, 13.5 x 5.2, Fig.Munich 14733) would be, according to Thomas, for one of the central motifs of one of the broad center panels, but a corresponding relief is not actually found in the gallery.  It and the preceding drawing could have been made for lost panels, or for panels now in private collections, as suggested by Pressouyre.  It is also possible that the Munich drawings were for paneling made by Scibec for other rooms at Fontainebleau.

Six prints, etched and engraved by D. Antoine Pierretz around 1647, show the kinds of designs of the vertical pilaster panels in the gallery (Paris, BN, Ba 12, pp. 99–101, nos. 161–166; Fig.Pierretz Paris 162; Fig.Pierretz Paris 163; Fig.Pierretz Paris 164; Fig.Pierretz Paris 165; Fig.Pierretz Paris 166; no. 161, 31.1 x 11.2 S, numbered 1 at lower right; inscription in margin below partially cut; from an impression in the Staatliche Museum Kunstbibliothek, Berlin, OS 277, 04, 545, no. 1, a second state also numbered in center above margin: N-°. 29, and in margin: Fueilliages Moderne faicts au Chateau Royal de Fontainebleau / de linvention de lexcellant Mestre Francisque / rechercheé et desseigneé par A. Pierretz / A PARIS / Chez Pierre Mariette Rue St Jacques aux / colonnes dhèrculle avec privilege du Roy, the name of Mariette replacing: chez La Vesne F. Langlois dict Chartres rue (Fig.Pierretz Berlin); others in set numbered consecutively at lower right; see D. Guilmard, Les Maîtres ornemistes, Paris, 1800, Vol. I, 57–58, under no. 78, as in Paris, BN, volume Architecture H a 2—Collection Carré; Zerner, in EdF, 1972, 326, no. 424 bis, two prints, nos. 3 and 4, Paris, Ba 12, 30.5 x 10.3 L and 29.5 x 10.3 L, as by Pierretz, French engraver, active around 1647; Pressouyre, “Cadre architectural,” 1972, 20, as of 1646; Béguin and Pressouyre, 1972, 141, as after Scibec de Carpi).  Guilmard thought the name Francisque in the inscription referred to Primaticcio, but it was also the first name of Scibec.  The third of the series (Fig.Pierretz 163) shows the design of one of the panels under the nineteenth century Nymph of Fontainebleau (see “Galerie,” RdA, 1972, 21, Fig. 25; Fig.Paneling North Wall).  The second (Fig.Pierretz 162) has a plaque at the top with the inscription: NVTRISCO -ET- EXTINGO.  Only one print, the first (Fig.Pierretz Berlin), does not show the salamander in the central oval, but instead three fleurs-de-lis.  Only the escutcheon of the broad center panels in the gallery show fleurs-de-lis but the design of the print is certainly not for such a location.  As Zerner pointed out, the value of these prints lies in the preservations of the designs of some of the pilaster panels in the gallery after which they seem to have been made.

On the drawings that were made for the restoration of the paneling in the middle of the nineteenth century, see Lossky, “Dessins,” 1972, 33, Fig. 4, 35.

17 See Pressouyre, “Cadre architectural,” 1972, 20; and McAllister Johnson, 1984, 137.  Vanaise, 1973, 183–184, emphasized Francis I’s role in the use of exotic woods in the first scheme and mentioned the return of Captain Briscet’s ship, the Saint-Philippe, to Honfleur in August 1535, bringing the wood from Brazil that was delivered to the home of Scibec, which I have not been able to confirm.

18 See Pressouyre, “Cadre architectural,” 1972, 20.

19 See Pressouyre, “Cadre architectural,” 1972, 20, 21, Fig. 20 (at VII N, not VI N) and Fig. 25, who commented that all the paneling of the south wall seems to be copies ordered by Louis-Philippe, ably assembled, and that the paneling of the north wall, while showing many alterations, is old, “sinon toujours authentiques” (Fig.Paneling North Wall and Fig.Paneling VII N).

20 On the ceiling and its original color with reference to the evidence of drawings by Charles Percier, of the late eighteenth century (Fig.Percier drawing 2, Ceiling), by Viollet-le-Duc of 1834 (Fig.Viollet-le-Duc drawing 1; Fig.Viollet-le-Duc drawing 2), and by Louis-Urbain Gounod of 1848 (Fig.Gounod ceiling drawing detail), see Lossky, “Cinq dessins,” 1970, 188–190, Pl. XX, 1 (Fig.Viollet-le Duc drawing, ceiling detail); Lossky, “Dessins,” 1971, 34–35, Fig.3; Pressouyre, “Cadre architectural,” 1972, 19, 33, Fig. 47, and 26, ns. 49–50.  Lossky pointed out that the date of the ceiling in 1539–1540 is mentioned in Paul Vanaise, De artistieke bedrijvigheid te Fontainebleau van 1527 tot 1571, doctoral thesis, Ghent, 1965.