This catalogue presents those paintings that I consider to be by Rosso Fiorentino, along with the sculpture of the Gallery of Francis I, or to be copies of lost works. The works are arranged with their numbers preceded by: P. [P.1], in what appears to be their chronological order. This number is also its LINK REFERENCE. In two entries the number is followed by the designations: A,B (COPIES) [P.2] or: (VARIANT COPY) [P.15]. After the title, data are given on assigned date, location: city and collection with the number assigned to it in the collection, followed by basic information: support and media (oil is presumed for the portable paintings), and dimensions in centimeters, height then width.1
LINK REFERENCES preceded by Fig. [Fig.P.1a] are to illustrations of the catalogued works including details, in color and in black and white (bw). Additional links are to comparative and supplementary illustrations. The CONDITION of the work is discussed, based upon observation, but also upon published restoration reports, followed by a description of its COLOR.2 The PROVENANCE is given for portable pictures. DOCUMENTS specifically related to the work are fully transcribed. PREPARATORY DRAWINGS are listed with reference to their appearance in the Catalogue of Drawings (D.). The LITERATURE on each work is presented chronologically (see BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ABBREVIATIONS) with brief indications of authors’ opinions and comments. The text of each entry deals largely with the issues of attribution and date occasionally supported by a discussion of subject more fully considered in the text. COPY or COPIES of paintings, drawings, prints, and tapestries are given last with the same kinds of information as for the authentic works. Notes follow each entry. With Kusenberg’s monogram of 1931 and Barocchi’s publication of 1950 the oeuvre of Rosso’s most important paintings was established on the basis of the information provided in the two editions of Vasari’s Life of the artist and by the documentary evidence provided by Milanesi, other early historians, and more recently by the archival researches of David Franklin. Only the attribution and dating of several small and medium size paintings, a large altarpiece and a damaged fresco remain problems following upon the publication of Franklin’s book on Rosso’s Italian years in 1994. These are considered in the Catalogue of Rejected Paintings (RP.), where the major factor in the unacceptable attribution of them is the lack of recollection of the level of achievement that Rosso’s documented works have long established.
1 The size of the Gallery of Francis I, the complexity of its extensive decoration, and the architecture that supports it require a special arrangement within P.22. The introductory data are followed by a section entitled DOCUMENTS AND SUMMARY followed by the CONSTRUCTION OF THE GALLERY, DOCUMENTS, the DECORATION OF THE GALLERY, and the WOODWORK OF THE GALLERY, concluding with a SUMMARY ON THE CONSTRUCTION AND DECORATION OF THE GALLERY. The INTRODUCTION TO THE CATALOGUE ON THE GALLERY OF FRANCIS I is followed by a short account of the VIEWS OF THE GALLERY after which individual entries present the material of each section of the gallery, beginning with the first bay at the east end, the north side considered first, then the south, numbered I NORTH and I SOUTH and so continuing until VII NORTH and VII SOUTH at the west end of the room. The basic data on the TAPESTRIES are followed by transcripts of the TAPESTRY DOCUMENTS, the LITERATURE ON THE TAPESTRIES, and a SUMMARY ON THE TAPESTRIES. Following the LITERATURE ON THE GALLERY apears the final SUMMARY ON THE GALLERY OF FRANCIS I. 2 Few comments are made on the hands that executed the frescoes and stuccoes in the Gallery of Francis I other than what is presented in the INTRODUCTION TO THE CATALOGUE ON THE GALLERY OF FRANCIS I. Here the work of Barocchi, appearing in 1950, on the execution of the stuccoes is mentioned and the reply to this attempt by Béguin in 1972. With reluctance in the same publication the same year, Pressouyre attempted to distinguish the hands that did the frescoes, one of the four major executants possibly Rosso himself. Her conclusion regards Rosso’s control over the execution of his intentions, on which I bring up the tonality of the individual frescoes that must be due to his close supervision.