Rosso Fiorentino

ROSSO FIORENTINO (1495 – 1540)

A luminary of early Mannerism, he trained with Pontormo in Andrea del Sarto’s studio. In early youth his controversial personality is manifest in his painterly aggression towards figures and colours. However, he changed greatly in later years, shifting from the Florentine influence to the Roman one of Michelangelo. His travels undertaken after the Sack of Rome led to a mellowing in the painter’s style. In 1530 he moved to Paris, where he was hired by King Francis I to work on the magnificent gallery of Château Fontainebleau, which became the benchmark for the spread of the Mannerist Style throughout Europe.


A representation of a child angel holding an enormous lute. The effort of the young musician is reflected in the position of his face, his cheek resting on the instrument and his eyes intent on the hand plucking the strings. For a long time this piece was considered an individual work, but several recent restorations have uncovered clues that indicate it may be part of a lost altarpiece.