Flora, Master of

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(fl c. 1555–70). Painter, active in France. Grouped under this name are a small number of paintings and drawings executed by an artist probably of Italian origin who is known to have worked in France between 1555 and 1570. A painting representing Flora (ex-d’Albenas priv. col., Montpellier; San Francisco, CA Pal. Legion of Honor) has given its name to this remarkable heir to the first Fontainebleau school. Together with this painting, three other works permit a firm appreciation of the personality and style of the Master: the Triumph of Flora (Vicenza, Canera de Salasco priv. col.; see exh. cat., no. 130), which is considered to be a workshop production; the Birth of Cupid (New York, Met.; see fig.); and the Allegory of Abundance (Ravenna, Accad. B.A.). All these works show strong affinities with the style of Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio and also with that of Nicolò dell’Abate, who arrived in Fontainebleau in 1552. In these paintings the principal figure, passive and occupying a large part of the picture space, is contrasted with other more dynamic figures: putti in the Triumph, servants in the Birth and children in the Abundance. As in the work of Nicolò dell’Abate, but in a more anecdotal way, nature is very much present, particularly in the flowers strewn around in such profusion that they could almost be seen as the signature of the artist.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Northern Renaissance Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Renaissance Art.

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