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Monogrammist IQV

active in Fontainebleau around 1540–45

The true identity of the Monogrammist IQV has not yet been completely clarified and his artistic personality remains largely hidden in the shadows. This circumstance makes the printed oeuvre of the experienced master all the more intriguing. While very few of the artist’s prints bear his monogram, he was none­theless one of the most prolific printmakers of the Fontainebleau School. Adam von Bartsch recorded only seven etchings by the artist, but modern scholars assume that his printed oeuvre com­prises some fifty prints, a number of which were earlier attributed to other artists. Many of his etchings are based on models by great masters of the Cinquecento, such as Giulio Romano, Polidoro da Caravaggio, Rosso Fiorentino and Francesco Primaticcio. The stylistically heterogeneous and often contradictory character of this master’s creations makes it difficult to precisely delimit his printed oeuvre. Hence, Herbet deserves credit for having contributed considerably to a more nuanced view of his activities. The etching style of the Monogrammist IQV occasionally resembles the method employed by Jean Duvet and Antonio Fantuzzi, while on other occasions he proves to be surprisingly original and artistically unconventional.