Primaticcio, the second Italian master to have been summoned to work at Fontainebleau, hailed from Bologna. Between 1541 and 1544 he designed and carried out the decoration of the chamber of Madame d’Etampes, Francis I’s favourite. Following the ornamental style of the Francis I Gallery, the walls are adorned with stuccoed frames and frescoes to form a cycle beneath the ceiling cornice. It tells the story of the amorous hero Alexander, making allusion to the relationship between the French king and his favourite. The large elongated female figures are typical of the Mannerist ornamental style, as are the leather strapwork, the garlands of fruit, satyrs and cherubs.
Image rights: © Château de Fontainebleau - Béatrice Lecuyer