Flora Flora

Late 16th c./Oil on canvas

148.0 x 137.0 cm

On loan

Where The Gaze Reaches: Masterpieces from the Collecition of Tokyo Fuji Art Museum

Exhibition period:03 23, 2024 (SAT)06 23, 2024 (SUN)

Chengdu Art Museum (Chengdu, China)

Use of Images


The Flemish-born French painter Ambroise Dubois represents the second school of Fontainebleau. His works exhibit the characteristics of Mannerism, showing elegant forms and Flemish-style representation of light and dark. The Fontainebleau school refers to a group of artists who was active in the Fontainebleau Palace in the 16th century. The first school of Fontainebleau was established by a group of artists, mainly Italian artists who were invited by the King Francois I. After a certain period of stagnating artistic activities due to the religious war, a group of artists resumed their artistic activities at the construction workshop in the Fontainebleau Palace during the reign of the King Henry IV. Such a group of artists is referred to as the second school of Fontainebleau. The art in this school was the efflorescence of the earlier Renaissance style in France. According to an inventory made in 1642, this painting was “hung above the mantelpiece in the King’s room in Fontainebleau Palace.” Later, in the reign of Louis XIV, it was replaced with another painting. After the French Revolution, the work was put up at an auction in 1793, and in 1834 there was an offer for the work made to the Louvre. On those occasions, it is confirmed that there was an inscription reading “decoration of the King's room” on the back of the painting. Flora was the Roman goddess of flowers, and people thought that Flora was the reincarnation of Chloris, ancient Greek goddess of flowers. This subject matter was favored by painters such as Botticelli and Poussin. This figure of goddess came to be taken as a single subject matter from mythological paintings, and later, it was depicted as a young female figure who holds flowers in her hands, in the form of portraits of “a woman as Flora.” The Tiziano’s painting that depicts a prostitute and the Rembrandt’s that depicts his wife Saskia are the representative examples of this subject. In this painting Flora, the subject matter is depicted as a half-naked goddess who holds a vase under her left arm, with an entourage of four putti. Although it is rather formal and lack of a picturesque depth, this painting has a delicate fragrance of Renaissance and is adorned by a shiny beauty of a style of exquisite French painting.


Ambroise Dubois

Ambroise Dubois1543-1614

List of artworks by the same artist


Exhibiton history
Origin of collections

Provenance: Château de Fontainebleau M. Wogue, Fontainebleau 1834 Hôtel Drout, Paris December 14, 1967 (53) Private Collection, Paris With Heim 1979 Private Collection, Great Britain Exhibited: Paris, Le Grand Palais, L’Ecole de Fontainebleau,1927-73(85) European Oil Paintings, 1990


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