Fall of the Rebel Angels by Franz Floris

Fall of the Rebel Angels by Franz Floris
Fall of the Rebel Angels by Franz Floris

The Mannerism originated in Italy from the art of Michelangelo, in fact its name is due to the painters who wanted make his works “alla maniera de Michelangelo”. But from there it radiated to the courts of all Europe. And it can even be said that in many of those courts it was more successful than the much more intellectual art of the Renaissance. While Mannerist works are more visual and gimmicky.


Fall of the Rebel Angels by Frans Floris

We could cite many examples, such as the art of Greco in Spain, but today we are going to talk about another interesting painter. In this case of Flemish origin, such as Frans Floris (1519 – 1570) who, after traveling to Italy as a young man and learning about the work of the great masters, returned to his Antwerp where he developed his entire career, and where he was even an outstanding teacher of other successful artists such as Lucas de Heere.

From him we bring you this work that represents the Fall of the rebel angels, which he painted in 1554 and which is in the Royal Museum of Antwerp Fine Arts.

This work is undoubtedly a clear legacy of what he had seen during his trip through Italy, in cities likeRome,MantuaorGenoa. From there he drew countless compositional ideas that he later transferred to his canvases witha very refined spirit, since it must be understood that in the courts of northern Europe they liked the most intellectual and cultured version of that art, since they conceived the enjoyment of these works only for an elite in the highest echelon of society.

Without being a great art history expert we can relate this painting to the famous Last Judgment by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican. We see a canvas completely filled with human bodies. They are stacked, forming a dense mass where animal and almost diabolical forms are also discovered on the faces and limbs. There is not an inch that is not occupied by the anatomy of the bodies of all those damned.

The drawing and study of bodies are admirable. Although the most distinctive note of this Flemish author is undoubtedly his ability to master color. And here we see it with an atmosphere dominated by the warmest colors and an incredible range of tones.

The importance of this artist in the pictorial evolution of Belgium, and more specifically of Antwerp, is more than remarkable. In fact, some historians consider it an intermediate step between Mabuse or Metsys, members of the so-called Antwerp School, and the next generation Baroque genius: Rubens.

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