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By Edward Lucie-Smith

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It was not French artists who made their way to Rome (and stayed, someonly times, to create their whole life's work), but artists from all over artistic Europe. So many the city that they the city, with easy. It was its foreign, formed own a and especially northern, painters flocked to recognizable colony, a community within accepted customs. These customs were free and in seventeenth-century Rome that the notion of the became clearly established for the first time, among painters who were living a long way from home, and who found themselves correspondingly free from social and family responsibilities.

But fluential. left and these prints were also much studied abroad. Rosso's principal collaborator, Francesco Primaticcio, had a more He came from Bologna, and worked with Giulio Romano in Mantua, when Giulio was engaged in decorating the Palazzo del Te. He remained in Giulio's workshop until 1532, when he moved to Fontainebleau. Through Giulio, who had been Raphael's placid talent. principal assistant, Primaticcio inherited the tradition created by Raphael. In Mantua, Giulio was already combining stucco-work and 37 painted decoration, and that, though the over-all scheme in the Galerie Francois Premier was Rosso's, Primaticcio had much to do with the sculptural part of it.

Eventually, he arrived in Venice and met the celebrated humanist neurotic in the fashion of the time. In was able to see the Aretino, who new in turn style recommended him to Francois I. new and more splendid kind of royal work at Fontainebleau has been largely Rosso's task was to provide a environment. Though his destroyed or overpainted, enough remains to show us the kind of problems he was set, and the ways in which he solved them. His principal work is the Galerie Francois Premier. A long gallery of this was and decorative tradition.

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A Concise History of French Painting by Edward Lucie-Smith


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