The Triumph of the City


The High Renaissance


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chool of Fontainebleau

Antonio  Fantuzzi

Martin Freminet


Fontainebleau school

[Fr. Ecole de Fontainebleau].

Term that encompasses work in a wide variety of media, including painting, sculpture, stuccowork and printmaking, produced from the 1530s to the first decade of the 17th century in France. It evokes an unreal and poetic world of elegant, elongated figures, often in mythological settings, as well as incorporating rich, intricate ornamentation with a characteristic type of strapwork. The phrase was first used by Adam von Bartsch in Le Peintre-graveur (21 vols, Vienna, 1803–21), referring to a group of etchings and engravings, some of which were undoubtedly made at Fontainebleau in France. More generally, it designates the art made to decorate the château of Fontainebleau, built from 1528 by Francis I and his successors, and by extension it covers all works that reflect the art of Fontainebleau.  With the re-evaluation of MANNERISM in the 20th century, the popularity of the Fontainebleau school has increased hugely. There has also been an accompanying increase in the difficulty of defining the term precisely. 


Antonio  Fantuzzi

(b ?Bologna; fl Fontainebleau, 1537–50).

Italian painter and printmaker. He was one of Francesco Primaticcio’s main assistants at Fontainebleau. Although no painted work or drawing by him can be identified, he is recorded as having designed some of the grotesques for the vault of the Galerie d’Ulysse. From 1542 to 1545 he was one of the principal etchers of the Fontainebleau school, producing more than 100 etchings in that short time. Around 1542–3 he reproduced many drawings by Giulio Romano and Rosso Fiorentino, recording many of the latter’s compositions for the palace of Francis I. Because he always worked from preparatory drawings rather than from the frescoes themselves, Fantuzzi’s etchings are an invaluable source of information about lost drawings by Rosso. Later he worked from Primaticcio’s designs, especially his drawings after antique statues. While Fantuzzi’s earlier etchings are violent in their handling and light effects (e.g. his etching after Rosso’s The Sacrifice; see Zerner (1969), no. 27), his maniera later became more careful and softer (e.g. Apollo and Marsyas, after Parmigianino; see Zerner (1969), no. 77). Fantuzzi has often been mistakenly identified with Antonio da Trento. 


The Muses on Mount Parnassus


The Contest between Athena and Poseidon
ca. 1543
Antonio Fantuzzi after Rosso Fiorentino



Achilles bids farewell to Deidamia



Flore (detail)






Martin Freminet

(b Paris, 23 Sept 1567; d Paris, 18 June 1619).

French painter. He first studied with his father, Mederic Freminet ( fl 2nd half of the 16th century), who is thought to have taught also Toussaint Dubreuil. Martin Freminet painted a St Sebastian (untraced) for the church of St Josse in Paris before leaving for Italy around 1587. In Rome he became a friend of the Cavaliere d’Arpino, took an interest in the painting of Caravaggio and, above all, studied the work of Michelangelo. A number of untraced paintings that he executed in Rome were recorded in the form of engravings by Philippe Thomassin and published between 1589 and 1592: they included the Holy Family (1589), the Annunciation (1591) and the Baptism (1592). These Italian works revealed him to be one of the individuals who, alongside the Cavaliere d’Arpino, contributed to the renewal of Roman Mannerism that dominated the end of the century (Thuillier, pp. 670–71). Among Freminet’s works was a Flagellation engraved by Thomassin (1590–92), which closely resembled and may have been the model for the Cavaliere d’Arpino’s Flagellation, engraved by Aegidius Sadeler II (1593).


Fontainebleau, Chapel of Trinity
c. 1587-1610



Fontainebleau, Chapel of Trinity
c. 1587-1610


Jesus parmi les docteurs



La tentation du Christ au desert



Le songe de Joseph



Noces de Cana


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