P.22 VII South: Enlightenment of Francis I

P.22 VII South: The Enlightenment of Francis I

The central fresco: c. 1.67 x c. 2.55 m.

Fig.P.22, VII S a whole wall
Fig.P.22, VII S b left
Fig.P.22, VII S c right

The major alteration to this wall has been caused by the raising of the crossbeams and the addition of two urns which the large stucco satyrs are now holding with their upraised arms and supporting on their cushioned heads.  Originally the satyrs grasped the crossbeams that rested on the cushions.  Baskets are substituted for the beams in Fantuzzi’s etching of the frame of this wall (E.75; see below) but they are clearly beams in Du Cerceau’s print (E.55.3; see below).1  The vines covering the genitals of the satyrs that are not found in Fantuzzi’s etching (see below) would seem to be later additions.  Below the central fresco the figure of Venus is missing from the stucco relief.

PREPARATORY DRAWING: D.61A, B, C (COPIES).  Darmstadt, Hessiches Landesmuseum, no. AE 1424 (Fig.D.61A); formerly New York, Janos Scholz Collection (Fig.D.61B); Rennes, Musée, no. 56/11 (Fig.D.61C), The Enlightenment of Francis I.  These three pen and ink and wash drawings are derived from a lost drawing by Rosso for the central fresco of this wall.  They show that the only two details missing from the drawing that appear in the final scene are the sandals worn by Caesar and the clothing of the woman with raised arms at the far right.  One detail was eliminated from the fresco: the small head of the bearded man between two of the columns of the temple.  Two of the drawings show OSTIVM IOVIS inscribed over the door as well as the words [B]ONI and MALI on the large urns flanking the doorway.  The fresco shows only the inscription over the door.

PRINTS: E.74.  Fantuzzi, The Enlightenment of Francis I (E.74).  This etching is in reverse of the fresco but is not copied from it.  The costume of Caesar, including his boots, is slightly different from what appears in the copies of Rosso’s lost drawing (see above, D.61A, B, C) but otherwise the print is virtually identical to them.  It is probable that the minor changes of Caesar’s costume are due to Fantuzzi.

E.12.  Boyvin, The Enlightenment of Francis I (E.12).  This engraving, in reverse of the fresco, is based upon Rosso’s lost drawing (see above; D.61A, B, C) and reproduces clearly, as Fantuzzi’s etching does not, the light streaming from the door of the temple.  Boyvin has, however, removed the “F” encircled with a crown from the oval above the door and has placed there the inscription OSTIV IOVIS which in the copies of Rosso’s drawing is on the lintel of the door.

There is a reversed copy of this print by Domenico Zenoi (E.112).

E.148.  Anonymous, The Birth of Venus (E.148).  Related, in reverse, to the stucco relief under the center painting of this wall, this etching must be dependent, however, upon a more detailed but lost drawing by Rosso.  Stylistically, the details of the print are clearly Rosso’s inventions and are not attributable to the etcher.  But he did add the water and clouds around the outside of the shell and the two personifications of winds in the upper corners which lie beyond the limits of the composition of the stucco relief.

E.75.  Fantuzzi, Frame (E.75).  With many variations this etching is related, in reverse, to the frame of this wall, the center fresco of which is replaced by a landscape.  The large satyrs are shown with baskets upon the pillows on their heads, baskets that replace the beams they supported in the gallery until the ceiling was raised in the nineteenth century.  There are no vines covering the satyrs’ loins.  The decoration of the plaster strips would seem to be due to Fantuzzi. But the four nude figures above not found in the gallery may not be Fantuzzi’s inventions.  Another etching (E.147; see below) shows that Rosso had designed at least one figure that was not used for one of the areas occupied by the four nudes, and those Fantuzzi shows could represent other variations by Rosso.  So, too, could the postures of the satyrs’ children.  There is, therefore, some possibility that Fantuzzi knew an early lost drawing by Rosso for the frame of this wall.

One of Du Cerceau’s Petits Cartouches (E.57,8) is derived from Fantuzzi’s etching.

E.55,3.  Du Cerceau, Frame (E.55,3).  This etching is in reverse of the frame in the gallery and has a blank center area.  It shows the satyrs supporting beams on their heads.  The positions of the satyrs and their children are as in Fantuzzi’s etching.  But Du Cerceau’s print is not copied from the latter for it shows several details that appear in the gallery that are not in Fantuzzi’s print: the salamander in his pedimented abode, a turkey, and the stucco shell motif under the central picture without the relief.  However, Du Cerceau’s print is not copied from the wall in the gallery.  The figures alongside the satyrs are different; two resemble those in Fantuzzi’s print.  It is possible that Du Cerceau’s print goes back to the same drawing as Fantuzzi’s etching and that both freely but differently vary it.

E.147.  Anonymous, Draped Youth leaning on a Block at the Left (E.147).  This etching shows a figure in exactly the same location as the four figures painted alongside the stucco satyrs of this wall.  As the print is inscribed to Rosso it seems very likely that it is based upon a lost drawing for a figure that was planned for this wall and then not used.  The figure is not, however, related to one in the gallery or to any in the etchings by Fantuzzi and Du Cerceau (see above).

ENAMEL: Paris, Louvre, N 1254.  Léonard Limosin, Two grisaille plaques with satyrs framing the portrait of Anne de Montmorency, Connétable de France (Fig.Montmorency).  LITERATURE: Laborde, Emaux, 1852, 180, nos. 246 and 247.  Lasteyrie, 1879, Part II, 93, 103.  Herbet, V, 1902, 80 (1989, 232), as based upon Fantuzzi’s etching, Herbet, 1 (E.75).  Lavedan, 1918, 103-104, Fig.  Kusenberg, 1931, 119, 209, n. 324, as Louvre, no. 543.  Béguin, 1960, 44.  Béguin and Pressouyre, 1972, 140.  B. Jestaz, in EdF, 1972, 446, no. 636, with other bibliography, as derived from Fantuzzi’s print.  Seward, 1973, 190, Fig. in reverse.  Baratte, 1993, 53, Color Pl. 23, 54, 55, 80, Cat. 9, as derived from Fantuzzi’s etching.

These two plaques, the one at the left showing a male satyr, the one at the right, a female, both with two satyr children at their feet belong to the frame of Montmorency’s portrait, another plaque of which is signed L.L. and dated 1556.  The satyrs are related to those flanking the Enlightenment of Francis I and are in the same direction.  But the enamel figures hold urns on their heads rather than the beams as originally they did in the gallery.  Herbet believed those by Limosin were based on Fantuzzi’s etching (E.75) but the details show that this is not the case.  Furthermore, the etching is in reverse.  Nor is it based on Du Cerceau’s print (E.55,3).  The drawing and modelling of the enamel figures, and especially the pointed shaping of the infants’ heads, suggest that Limosin may have used lost drawings by Rosso as his models.

COPY, DRAWING: Paris, Jean-Jacques Lebel Collection, The Enlightenment of Francis I.  A sixteenth century copy of Boyvin’s engraving (see under E.12).

COPY, DRAWING, COUNTERPROOF: Béguin, 1994, 270-272, Pl. 35c (see under IV North, The North Cabinet; Fig.Van Thulden) published a counterproof of a drawing that shows in reverse the frescoed figure at the far upper left of this compartment.

1 See also Lossky, 1974, 48, 49, Figs. 10, 11.