Pontormo in the Capponi Chapel and Rosso in Rome
Given that the Capponi Chapel is an indivisible whole completed between 1527 and 1528, with which we felt it best not to interfere, the exhibition presents a Madonna and Child painted by Pontormo for the centre of the altar frontal and Guillaume de Marcillat’s stained-glass window, both of which were removed from the chapel years ago. In late 1523 or early 1524, Rosso moved to Rome, possibly, like other Florentines, in the hope of finding work in the major projects begun by the Medici Pope, Clement VII. In the event, the only commission he obtained was to decorate the Cesi Chapel in Santa Maria della Pace (sadly left unfinished after he fell out with his patron), where the theology behind the scheme hints at the only slightly later decoration of the Capponi Chapel. Rosso’s experience in Rome was crucial, prompting him, on discovering Classical sculpture and the innovations of Raphael’s school, to develop a sophisticated painterly style imbued with a subtle formal elegance that was to prove capable of winning over the court of King Francis I of France only a few years later.