The Muses at the Foot of Mt. Parnassus

Artist: Antonio Fantuzzi (Italian, active France, 1537–45)

Artist: After Francesco Primaticcio (Italian, Bologna 1504/5–1570 Paris)

Date: 1540–45

Medium: Etching

Dimensions: Sheet (trimmed): 9 15/16 × 15 5/16 in. (25.2 × 38.9 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1949

Accession Number: 49.97.585


In its rough execution, claustrophobic composition, and stylized, attenuated figures, this print is characteristic of the school of printmaking that arose at Fontainebleau, the palace of Francis I (r. 1515–47) outside Paris. Fantuzzi was apparently called to Fontainebleau to assist his fellow Bolognese Francesco Primaticcio, who was frescoing the walls of the palace with tales of the ancient gods and heroes. There, Fantuzzi took up etching, producing more than one hundred prints after drawings by Primaticcio, Rosso Fiorentino, and others. There is no known model for this etching, however, which could be the etcher's own design.