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The Royal Elephant

The Royal Elephant, Rosso Fiorentino, fresco

Created in 1528 to link the royal apartments to the Trinitarian monastery, the Francis I Gallery was decorated by Florentine painter Rosso Fiorentino. The artist and his assistants painted a series of frescoes onto the richly sculpted stucco interior. The paintings were designed to celebrate the monarch, although their precise meaning is now hard to decipher. In the style of Michaelangelo and the Mannerists, the choice of animal in the Royal Elephant scene is designed to represent wisdom and royalty, whilst the stork at its feet represents filial devotion, thereby celebrating Francis I’s wisdom and virtue.

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