This famous work, of a cherubic angel plucking the strings of a lute, is a fragment of a lost altarpiece. Isn’t that a shame? So many pieces of art and sculpture even bood have been lost to history.
The dark background was added retrospectively, however studies have revealed a building in the background. It resembles compositions by Fra’ Bartolomeo or Raphael. It is in the Uffizi, the signature was also discovered Rosso Fiorentino and the date of 1521, but conservators are not sure if it is his writing or someone added it when the altarpiece was broken or destroyed, or just dismantled, for posterity.
This painting is Rosso Fiorentino’s reinterpretation of a traditional theme where the notably modern brushstrokes give the work a particularly vivid effect. Can we begin to imagine paintings something like this and signing and dating it 1521? MDXXI.
I’m sure the artist may have thought of museums or cathedrals but not someone researching it for a blog and sharing it around the world on the internet. I love these image of cherubs and have used them as Christmas cards. Many are available online or even perhaps at the museums. Rosso Fiorentino (Florence 1494 – Paris 1540)
I hope this little musical angel blesses your heart.