ROSSI, Properzia de'
(b. ca. 1490, Bologna, d. 1530, Bologna)

Joseph and Potiphar's Wife

Museo de San Petronio, Bologna

There is but one women, Properzia de' Rossi to whom Vasari gives a "life" in the 1550 edition, with only passing reference to a few other female artists added to this account in the second edition. It indicates that she was an exceptional artist, although she unfortunately died young and the only sure work in marble by her hand is a relief for the portal of the Cathedral of Bologna representing the Old Testament story of the Chastity of Joseph. This relief emphasizes the contrast between the voluptuous, eager wife of Potiphar and Joseph's determination to escape.

This marble relief, together with two sibyls and two angels, was commissioned by the Fabbrica of San Petronio for the façade of San Petronio in Bologna.