Dear Readers – Today on Museum Quick Bites we’re taking comfort in music with an angelic twist. Musical Angel (1521) by Rosso Fiorentino (aka Giovanni Battista di Jacopo; 1494-1540) features a cherub dreamily plucking a lute. From his rosy fingertips to his fiery red curls this sleepy-eyed angel appears lulled by the music, and in turn, the painting lulls us.
On display at Le Gallerie Degli Uffizi, Musical Angel was once part of a larger altarpiece, possibly dismantled by Fiorentino. Nicknamed the redhead from Florence (i.e., Rosso Fiorentino) because of his bright red hair, Fiorentino makes ample use of the vibrant color in Musical Angel. It also begs the question, is this a self-portrait? Painting of a young family member? Or is Fiorentino just a fan of red hair? Regardless, the colorful curls are stunning and the splash of orange on the angel’s wings is a brilliant touch.
Fiorentino fled to France after the Sack of Rome in 1527. He was hired by King Francis I (1494-1547) of France to paint frescoes at Château de Fontainebleau and in return received French citizenship, lodging, and patronage for his work. In addition to frescoes, Rosso also produced architectural plans, costume and scenery designs, as well as tableware for the Fontainebleau court. If you’d like to view more of his work, click on this Rosso Fiorentino link, courtesy of Google Arts & Culture.
I hope you enjoyed this adorable painting and that it inspires you to indulge in your favorite music. Click on this Renaissance Lute Music link, courtesy of YouTube and Luteplayer80, to hear some delightful, old-world music a la lute. I’ll be back next week with more Museum Quick Bites. In the meantime, take care and stay safe. 🙂
Cover photo by whoalice-moore, courtesy of Pixabay.