ROSSO FIORENTINO Bacchus, Venus and Cupid

In Florence, during the second decade of the 16th century, Pontormo (1494-1556) and Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540) were the main interpreters of Mannerism. The 19th century did not like Mannerists, but the movement is now well understood and its masters are highly appreciated for their genius, daring the creative freedom. Francis I, King of France, shared this view to an extent when he invited Rosso Fiorentino to come to Paris as his first court painter in 1530. The artist then devoted the whole of the last decade of his career to the great decorative works in the new spaces in the royal palace at Fontainebleau. Much has been lost from these decorative features, but Bacchus, Venus and Cupid, from the Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art, Luxembourg, is an eloquent testimony to Rosso Fiorentino's refined and seductive art at Fontainebleau.