Citrine, Bittersweet and Rosso Fiorentino

Saffron, marigold, papaya, citrine, bittersweet, tangerine, tangelo, apricot, coral, peach, tearose, persimmon, cinnabar …

Aside from Leighton’s ‘Flaming June’ my favourite oranges are those of the Italian Mannerists (which I think I’ve written about before), especially Rosso Fiorentino and Pontormo.  Rosso was himself a fiery redhead, and there’s always something glowing orange in his most majestic essays on grief – often Christ’s Deposition glowing with something like the light of nuclear aftermath, citrine and bittersweet.  Such ‘orange grief’ is strangely and palpably alive, a passage through amber –

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About hickson1

Art historian, professor, Italian Renaissance and Baroque specialist
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