St. Barbara-a detail from Three Saints, a painting by
Coslmo Rosselli in the Accademia, Florence (about 1473) rostmo ROSSELLI, work%-eing with Botticelli, Ghirlandaio and Perugino, was one of the early decorators of the Sistine chapel-the culminating masterpiece of Renaissance art.
Roseelli himself was consisious of the inferiority of his gifts. and the etory is that he used
much gold and splashed his works with gay and brilliant colour so that the Pope of the time, not a man of any great taste. was charmed more by the Rossell: frescoes than by all the rest-so that gaiety and gilt had to be added by the other painters.
Influences crowd out originality in most of Rosselli's works. They reflect Verrochio, Gozzoli. Baldovinetti and the Pollaiuolo brothers collectively
and separately. Even his Sistine series hardly show an individual
• or personal trait. The Last Supper's formality is too hard and the Moses on Mount Sinai is too confused.
There are many portraits in all the Sistine frescoes which are fascinating to the historian, but in general Rosselli's easily influenced manner is detrimen tal to his sense of design and construction, and much of his interesting detail is lost in the lack of central planning.
His three saints in the Accademia, of which St. Barbara is the important figure. have dis tinct elements borrowed from Verrochio and others from Pol. laiuolo. but in spite of these there is a simpler and more defined sense of shape in it than in most of Rosselli's work. His facility for dashing off an effec tive picture and his inconstancy in direction were his ruin.