Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Rosso Fiorentino (1494-1540) painted this Descent from the Cross as an altarpiece in 1521. Many critics have called it his greatest work. They say the figures are dynamic in new ways and express emotion in new ways, because this was the beginning of Mannerism.
Rosso's other most famous picture (below) is called Moses Defending the Daughters of Jethro, 1523.
Like most wage-earning painters of his day, Rosso produced a great many Madonnas (with surrounding crowds) and dead Christs (with surrounding crowds).
He dearly loved the depiction of a good convincing corpse, and that (as below) is where anybody can most readily see his debt to Michelangelo (who was only some twenty years older).
Rosso Fiorentino strikes me as somebody who might not have turned out to be a great Italian artist if he had not lived in a great time for Italian artists. He seemed to have the sort of talent ripe for nurturing but not necessarily the sort of talent to break through too many barricades.