Anonymous, School of Fontainebleau
Pen and brown ink, brush and gray brown wash, over red chalk underdrawing; 12 5/8 x 11 1/8 in. (32 x 28.2 cm)
Harry G. Sperling Fund, 2001 (2001.514)
The complex layering, extreme flatness, ornamental line, and compression and crowding of forms in the design of this work are all characteristic of the style that evolved at the château at Fontainebleau during the reign of Francis I. At his palace in the woods outside Paris, the king had assembled such talented Italian artists as Rosso Fiorentino (14941540) and Francesco Primaticcio (15041570) to head a workshop dedicated to every facet of the palace's decoration. This drawing's technique seems closest to that of one of Rosso's collaborators, Léonard Thiry (1500ca. 1550), particularly his designs for engraved book illustrations.