A tender and "clumsy" little angel, intent on plucking the strings of a musical instrument larger than himself...
The small panel by Rosso Fiorentino, dated 1521, is a piece of a dismembered and lost altarpiece, as shown by reflectographic surveys that have also revealed, under the dark background's surface, a signature that records the name of the same painter, though it is probably not original.
An original reinterpretation of a traditional subject (as is evident, for instance, in Raphael's Sistine Madonna) made particularly vivid by a highly modern painting that is the distinguishing feature of Rosso Fiorentino's style.
An artist of undisputed personality in the panorama of the new generation of young painters following Michelangelo.
Angel playing the lute
Giovanni Battista di Jacopo, known as Rosso Fiorentino (Firenze 1495 – Parigi 1540)
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