Pontormo in Medici Florence and Rosso’s first journeys
The decoration of the hall in the villa of Poggio a Caiano, which began in 1519, is characteristic of the Medici family’s artistic inclinations, particularly their interest in drawing from nature. Pontormo became a leading exponent of this new, modern and varied figurative style imbued with harmonious classicism. Rosso, on the other hand, echoed the teachings of Savonarola, which were still very much alive in the convent of San Marco where he had spent part of his formative years. He never received a commission from the Medici and was forced to leave the city in mid 1519, travelling to Piombino, Naples and Volterra in search of work. In his Volterra pictures, Rosso reached a peak of abstract archaism never found in Pontormo’s work and which would probably not have found favour in Florence in the 1520s.