FANTUZZI, Antonio
(active 1537-1550 in Fontainebleau)

Biography

Italian painter and printmaker. All that is known about his early life is that he was born in Bologna, from the accounts at Fontainebleau and one inscription on a print (see illustration).

He is recorded as a painter of the First School of Fontainebleau from 1537 into the 1540s, apparently a principal assistant to Francesco Primaticcio, who had taken charge of the "school" decorating the Palace of Fontainebleau after the suicide in 1540 of Rosso Fiorentino. He became a leading member of the printmaking workshop at Fontainebleau and nearly 100 etchings survive, 16 dated between 1542 and 1545. Most copy designs by Rosso (about 25), Giulio Romano (21 at least), or Primaticcio. He is last recorded at Fontainebleau in 1550.

In the past, art historians often confused him with Antonio da Trento, another north Italian at Fontainebleau, but the two identities have now been securely disentangled. Antonio da Trento specialized in chiaroscuro woodcuts, a technique also used by Fantuzzi, and used to be assigned Fantuzzi's prints, partly because their monograms are similar.