ROSSO FIORENTINO’S CAPTIVATING HOLY FAMILY IS THE CENTERPIECE OF NEW EXHIBITION AT THE MORGAN ON FLORENTINE MANNERISM

The emergence of Mannerism in Florentine Renaissance art as exemplified by the brilliant painter Rosso Fiorentino is the subject of a new exhibition at The Morgan Library & Museum, opening on November 16, 2012. The show includes the artist’s extraordinary painting, Holy Family with the Young Saint John the Baptist, as well a selection of drawings, printed books, letters, and manuscripts by other Florentine masters. The Holy Family, on loan from the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, is one of only three paintings by Rosso in the United States. Fantasy and Invention: Rosso Fiorentino and Sixteenth-Century Florentine Drawing will remain on view at the Morgan through February 3, 2013.

Born Giovanni Battista di Jacopo di Guaspare in Florence, Rosso Fiorentino (1494–1540)—so known because of his distinctive red hair—was one of the foremost exponents of the late Renaissance style known as Mannerism, or the maniera. Characterized by extreme artifice, effortless grace, and refinement, and given to displays of inventive fantasy, spatial ambiguity, and strange beauty, this style developed about 1520 simultaneously in Rome (in the circle of Raphael) and in Florence (in the work of artists associated with Andrea del Sarto).

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