Properzia de' Rossi

Properzia de' Rossi

Properzia de Rossi (1490-1530) was a successful female Italian Renaissance sculptor. This daughter of a notary studied under the Bolognese artist and master engraver Marcantonio Raimondi, who is best known today for his engravings of the paintings by Raphael.

Early in her career, Properzia was celebrated for her complex but small-scale sculptures fashioned from stone-fruit pits, such as from apricots, peaches and cherries. The subject of these small "friezes" was often religious, with one of the most famous being a Crucifixion in a peach pit.

As she approached her thirties, Rossi began working in large scale. Her marble portrait busts from this period gained her prominence and public commissions, including the decorative program for the high altar of Santa Maria del Baraccano in Bologna. She also won a competition to create sculpture for the west facade of San Petronio in Bologna. Records show that she was paid to create three sibyls, two angels, and a pair of bas-relief panels, including a panel depicting "Joseph and Potiphar's Wife" [now in the Museum of San Petronio in Bologna] . In the scene, Joseph attempts to escape from the wife of an Egyptian officer. Rossi uses fluid drapery to illustrate the tension in this dynamic scene.

While Rossi won important commissions in her life, she died before reaching forty, bankrupt and without close relatives or friends.

Rossi was one of about 30 woman artists, mostly painters, in Renaissance Italy [Note: Bernardo de' Dominici, in his 1742 biography ("Vite"; page 327) of Neapolitan artists, while describing the life of Mariangiola Criscuolo lists a number of then "modern" female artists including: Properzia de Rossi, Lavinia Fontana, and Irene, disciple of Titian, la Varotari, la Tintoretta , la Garzoni, and others.] . Female sculptor were rare. She was included in the Giorgio Vasari’s "Lives of the Artists", collecting biographies of those he viewed as the most prominent artists of the recent centuries. However, his comments about Rossi are sometimes pejorative. For example while he calls her fruit pit sculptures “miraculous,” he also asserts, probably wrongly, that Rossi’s depiction of the Egyptian officer’s wife was a self-portrait. He claimed that Rossi had an unrequited affection for Anton Galeazzo Malvasia, a young nobleman, and the bas-relief panel allowed her to illustrate Malvasia’s denial of a romantic relationship. Vasari’s assertion was likely founded on an apocryphal story, however, his inclusion of the incident in his biography of Properzia is likely due to a belief in the Renaissance that women were prone to be overcome and hindered by melancholia. Vasari used Properzia’s "San Petronio" as an example of how all women, even those who are great artisans, can not escape their "female" nature.


*Chadwick, Whitney, "Women, Art, and Society," Thames and Hudson, London, 1990
*Heller, Nancy G. "Women Artists: An Illustrated History."New York: Abbeville Press, 1997.
*Harris, Anne Sutherland and Linda Nochlin, "Women Artists: 1550-1950", Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Knopf, New York, 1976
*Jacobs, Frederika. "The Construction of a Life: Madonna Properzia De' Rossi 'Scultrice Bolognese"', Word and Image, 1993, pp. 122 - 32.
*Vasari, Giorgio. "The Life of Madonna Properzia de' Rossi", in "The Lives of the Artists" (1568), trans. J. and P. Bondanella, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, pp. 339 - 44.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Properzia de' Rossi — Properzia de’ Rossi Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rossi. Annonciation, Musée de Bologne Properzia de Rossi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Properzia de’ rossi — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rossi. Annonciation, Musée de Bologne Properzia de Rossi …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Properzia de’ Rossi — Stich von Properzia de’ Rossi im „Le vite“ von Giorgio Vasari (1568) Properzia de’ Rossi (* um 1490 in Bologna; † 24. Februar 1530 in Bologna) war eine Bildhauerin der italienischen Renaissance. Properzia de’ Rossi studierte unter dem bekannten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Properzia de’ Rossi — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Rossi. Annonciation, Musée de Bologne Properzia de Rossi (1490 1530) est une sculptrice italienne de la Renaissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rossi — is an Italian surname, said to be the most common surname in Italy. Due to Italian emigration, it is also very common in other countries, including the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. Rossi is the plural of Rosso (meaning red …   Wikipedia

  • Rossi — ist ein Familienname. Herkunft und Bedeutung Rossi ist ein ursprünglich italienischer Familienname. In Italien zählt er heute zu den am weitesten verbreiteten Familiennamen. Vermutlich leitet sich Rossi von der Pluralform des Adjektivs Rosso (dt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Rossi —  Cette page d’homonymie répertorie des personnes (réelles ou fictives) partageant un même patronyme. Patronymes Rossi est un patronyme italien et corse, porté par les personnes suivantes, de nationalité italienne ou d origine italienne  …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Rossi — Rossi, 1) Marsilio, 1328 Parteihaupt in Parma, s.d. (Gesch.). 2) Pietro, im Anfang des 15. Jahrh. mit Otto Terzi eine Zeit lang Herr von Parma, s. ebd. 3) Rossode R., genannt il Rossood. Maitre Roux, geb. 1496 in Florenz, Maler, Baumeister,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • De Rossi — is a surname, and may refer to: Bernardo de Rossi, Italian theologian and historian Bernardo de Rossi, Italian bishop Properzia de Rossi, Italian Renaissance sculptor Fabrizio De Rossi, a fictional character in the 1997 film Titanic Giovanni… …   Wikipedia

  • Le Vite — Frontispice de Le Vite Le Vite (Les Vies) (en entier Le Vite de più eccellenti pittori, scultori e architettori, soit littéralement « Les Vies des meilleurs peintres, sculpteurs et architectes ») est un ouvrage écrit au Cinquecento par… …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”