As far as we can tell from the account books of the court of François I, Antonio Fantuzzi worked in Fontainebleau from 1537-1550. He was Primaticcio's main assistant and recorded many of his master's designs for the palace, as well as designs by Giulio Romano and Rosso Fiorentino, in the medium of print. It it less known however, that - as the present, unrecorded etching testifies - he also worked with another great Italian architect, Sebastiano Serlio, who came to France in 1541 and was appointed royal painter and architect at Fontainebleau that same year.
Within Fantuzzi's recorded oeuvre, as a purely architectural capriccio, the present etching is most closely related to Un Cryptoportique (Zerner 82), a rather fancifully enhanced and elaborated view of the crypto-porch of the Grotte des Pins at Fountainebleau, which at times has been attributed to Primaticcio, but was most probably designed by Sebastiano Serlio.
We are grateful to Catherine Jenkins, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, for confirming the attribution of this print to Antonio Fantuzzi.