These three etchings were made after designs by Francesco Primaticcio (1504-1570), presumably for th(…)
These three etchings were made after designs by Francesco Primaticcio (1504-1570), presumably for the Château of Fontainebleau, near Paris. We know little about their intended placement; however, the fact that the boar hunt and the stag hunt-normally land-based activities-are shown taking place in water along with the fishing scene, may further indicate that all three were designed to decorate some part of the château where water was prevalent, such as the baths.In François’s time, the game-rich forest of Fontainebleau was hailed as the domain of Diana, the goddess of the hunt, and her nymphs, who can be seen dispatching a stag in the topmost of the three etchings. During the reign of François’s son, Henri II, images of Diana would have taken on a more specific symbolism, given the volume of Diana-related imagery Henri devoted to his mistress of the same name, Diane de Poitiers. Like her namesake, Diane was a formidable hunter and rider well into old age.