(b. 1504, Bologna, d. 1570, Paris)

Decoration of the Royal Staircase (detail)

Apartments of the Duchesse d'Étampes, Fontainebleau (Seine-et-Marne)

In 1544, Primaticcio, a pupil of Giulio Romano, completed the stuccos in the chamber of of the Duchesse d'Étampes at Fontainebleau. Influenced by Parmigianino, Primaticcio carried to an extreme the quest for grace and elegance. Lithe, slender adolescent female figures frame medallions decorated with mythological scenes. Together with the Rosso figures, these elongated and voluptuous bodies surrounded by garlands in a fantastically elegant Olympus are the masterpieces of the Fontainebleau school. Primaticcio visited Rome again and brought back many casts from antique works; these were set out in the gardens of Fontainebleau, whence spread the taste for Greek art through France.

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