Artibus et Historiae no. 56 (XXVIII), 2007
252 x 232 mm
IN THIS ISSUE - SPECIAL ARTICLES IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM R. REARICK (1930—2004). PART II
COLIN EISLER - "Wrongly Together — Rightly Apart": Two Venetian High Renaissance Drawings at the Yale University Art Gallery (pp. 9—13)
A Venetian High Renaissance drawing of the head of a woman from the circle of the early Titian or Sansovino was "collaged" at an unknown date by adding the head of a child by the same hand. This converted what was originally an independent image into a Virgin and Child. By photographic means the two sections were separated and now shown alone, to recreate a sense of the original appearance of each head.
MICHAEL DUMMETT - Six 15-Century Tarot Cards: Who Painted Them? (pp.15—26)
The most complete surviving hand-painted Tarot pack from XV-century Italy, missing only four cards, is in part in Bergamo and in part in New York; it is here called the Colleoni pack. It was originally attributed to Antonio Cicognara on the basis of a document now universally recognised to have been spurious. In 1928 the pack was attributed by Roberto Longhi to Bonifacio Bembo; this attribution has been generally accepted. Six of the trump cards are manifestly by a different painter, who is frequently taken to have been Cicognara. This, if true, would be an astonishing coincidence. For reasons of dating, it would imply that the six cards were painted to replace Bonifacio's originals, which had been lost or damaged. They are here argued to have been by Benedetto Bembo, Bonifacio's brother, and are therefore themselves the original cards.
SYLVIE BÉGUIN - Pour Bartolomeo Cancellieri et Nicolo dell'Abate (pp. 27—31)
On Bartolomeo Cancellieri and Nicolò dell'Abate
The article reconsiders the argument on Bartolomeo Cancellieri made in the recently published article by Carlo Falciani and proposes a new attribution and some new observations on the subject. The study shows, among other things, the proximity between the works of Bartolomeo Cancellieri and those of Nicolò dell'Abate.
ALESSANDRO BALLARIN - Jacopo Bassano: l'"Annunzio ad Abramo della partenza per Canaan" Giusti del Giardino (pp. 33—48)
Jacopo Bassano's Annunciation to Abraham of the Leave for Canaan of the Giusti del Giardino Collection
This contribution brings to light a painting by Jacopo Bassano, known up to now only thanks to the engraving by Jan Sadeler, done about 1595, when it was part of the collection of the Veronese Earl Agostino Giusti. Due to the collection's dispersal in the first half of the 17th century, the picture may have passed to the collection of the Veronese lawyer Giovanni Pietro Curtoni, where it could have been disguised behind the inexact inventory description of the Annunciation to the Shepherds. The painting represents a theme frequently treated by Bassano: God's announcement made to Abraham, that he is to leave his native country, Haran, in order to go to Canaan. Previously the author had tried to date the composition by means of the engraving, on the grounds of its formal qualities He suggested that the "lost" Giusti picture could have been painted at the end of the 1560s, when Bassano reached a classical formulation for the Biblical themes, as it is shown in the well-known Pastorale in the Budapest Fine Arts Museum. However, careful examination of the picture led him now to change his mind about it: the refined use of whites on the canvas and the chiaroscuro, induce the author to suggest dating around 1575, a crucial year for the painter's experience in creating nocturnal scenes.
DIETER WUTTKE - Panofsky et Warburg. L'Hercule a la croisée de chemins d'Erwin Panofsky: L'ouvrage et son importance pour l'histoire de sciences de l'art (pp. 49—72)
Panofsky and Warburg. Erwin Panofsky's Hercules at the Crossroads: The Book and its Importance for the History of Art History
The essay represents the second revised and enlarged edition of the first part of the author's appendix to the 1997 reprint of Erwin Panofsky's famous book on Hercules at the Crossroads. Wuttke applies Panofsky's method as it is explained in the fundamental essay "Zum Problem der Beschreibung und Deutung von Werken der bildenden Kunst" (1932) to the book itself. He introduces the reader to Panofsky's concept of "method in application" and gives a dense description of the contents of the book. He then shows the relevance the book has with respect to the development of the history of art history: He demonstrates how deeply the Hercules at the Crossroads is rooted in the Warburg tradition. In order to ascertain his arguments Wuttke collects and interprets the testimonies of the reception of the book.
BEVERLY LOUISE BROWN - Corroborative Detail: Titian's Christ and the Adulteress (pp. 73—105)
Both Titian's authorship and the subject of the painting in Glasgow have been debated for many years. Although it is now generally accepted that it represents Christ and the Adulteress, there are those who still favor the Old Testament story of Susanna and Daniel. What has gone virtually unnoticed is the all'antica portrait medallion of an emperor embedded in the wall above Christ's head, which the Roman soldier seen from behind points towards with his concealed left arm. To judge from the lack of attention that the medallion has received, one might assume that it is just a trivial detail used as a bit of decorative flourish. However, a close examination of this small coin-like profile helps to clarify some of the questions concerning the picture's subject and its place within early sixteenth-century Venetian painting. The confusion over the painting's subject can be partly understood by the pairing of the two Biblical stories, which were read together on the third Saturday in Lent. Both were concerned with the true interpretation of Judaic law, but this classical Roman detail alone should make it clear that the story is not set in the Old Testament. In the New Testament story the Pharisees and the scribes set a trap for Christ by asking him to choose between sanctioning the mandatory death penalty for adultery specified by Mosaic law and restrictions imposed on him by Roman law, which gave the ruling prefect exclusive jurisdiction over capital cases. But Christ avoided the trap by not choosing either and thus opened the path towards a new and more compassionate Christian law. The solider would seem to be equating Christ's merciful judgement with the virtuous enactment of the law by the Roman emperor. Of all the early Roman emperors the one most commonly associated with virtù was Augustus, who occupied a special position in popular memory as the harbinger of peace, prosperity and justice. The medallion in Titian's picture bears more than just a superficial resemblance to images of Augustus found on Roman coins. By the mid-fifteenth century it was not uncommon to find antique numismatic imagery included in religious paintings, manuscripts, mosaics and tomb sculptural. How these images were interpreted in cases such as the Mascoli Chapel in San Marco or Vincenzo Foppo's Crucifixion, where they were set within a triumphal arch, is slightly different from Titian's Christ and the Adulteress where the medallion is isolated on a wall. Titian would have been well acquainted with ancient sculpture displayed by modern Venetians in a similar fashion. He also must have been aware that by extracting the medallion profile from a purely decorative context, he could increase its potential as a part of a visual exegesis. In this respect its isolation recalls a similar piece of all'antica sculpture in Giovanni Bellini's Saint Terentius. Bellini's portrait bust is placed above an inscription which identifies it as Augustus, whose presence was meant as a reminder of the practices of good government established under his reign. Although the emperor in Titian's Adulteress is not identified, it is argued that like Bellini, he chose to use Augustus as a moral paradigm. A connection is made between Christs judgement of mercy and forgiveness and the exemplary reign of Augustus. The soldier who points to the medallion establishes a parallel between the secular and religious realms as well as the antique and Christian. The inherent drama of the story lies in the balance between Christ in not condoning adultery and his mercy in forgiving the woman's sin. Although we do not know who commissioned Titian's painting or how it was originally displayed, its scale and explicit judicial character strongly suggests that it was commissioned for a civic space to serve as an exemplum virtutis for councillors and judges.
COSTANZA BARBIERI - "Chompare e amicho karissimo": A Portrait of Michelangelo by his Friend Sebastiano (pp. 107—120)
Sebastiano del Piombo's reputation as a portrait painter was well established in the first half of the sixteenth century, as was testified by several sources and by his outstanding portraits as well. For this reason, it is at least surprising that he left no likeness of his best friend and associate, Michelangelo Buonarroti, to whom he was so much obliged. It is here proposed to identify a recently discovered portrayal of Michelangelo as a possible work of Sebastiano's hand, given the strong analogy between this portrait and that of Francesco Arsilli in the Pinacoteca Civica of Ancona, signed by the Venetian painter and presenting the same composition of the Michelangelo. The Florentine artist is represented while showing a book of drawings of anatomical studies, an attribute that identifies for the first time Michelangelo via disegno, a unique and convincing iconography that distinguishes this from other portraits of Michelangelo. Although no documents have yet been discovered to place this forgotten painting securely within Sebastiano's oeuvre, a path is suggested that starts from a reference in the collection of the Duke d'Orléans, at the beginning of the eighteenth century, and continues to a seal on the back of the painting, identified as a custom stamp of the Reverenda Camera Apostolica in Rome. The portrait itself, however, though damaged, is an astonishing document of the two artists' friendship and of the mutual respect between the portraitist and the sitter, conveyed to the viewer by Michelangelo's intense and expressive gaze.
RENZO FONTANA - All'avvio della "seconda maniera": una stampa per Jacopo Bassano (pp. 121—133)
The Beginning of the "second manner": An Engraving for Jacopo Bassano
At the end of the 1530s Jacopo Bassano was living a period of intense stylistic experiments which culminated in his experiences of Mannerism in the successive years. The painter managed to keep himself up-to-date with the latest artistic tendencies, without ever moving from his home town, thanks to his knowledge of reproductive engravings. Together with the catalogue of the engravings that he used there is also a monumental and rare woodcut in four sheets of uncertain attribution, which he, without any doubt, referred to taking various figures that we can find in his paintings, such as The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine of 1538, known to us thanks to copies, as well as Samson and the Philistines in the Gemäldegalerie of Dresden, of 1539, but also in some of his paintings of the forties, like The Way to Calvary of the Fitzwilliam Museum of Cambridge, The Martyrdom of Saint Catherine of the Bassano del Grappa Museum and The Rest on the Flight into Egypt in the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana.
CATHERINE MONBEIG GOGUEL - Un dessin inédit de Schiavone (pp. 135—140)
An Unpublished Drawing by Schiavone
The article presents a hitherto unpublished drawing of Lamentation (France, Bogratchew Collection), with a corresponding print, by Andrea Schiavone. The "Lamentation" belongs to the most important subjects in the artistic production of Schiavone and derives from the oeuvre of Parmigianino. It was treated several times by Schiavone, in various drawings, prints or paintings, the analysis of which allows to underscore the originality of this newly discovered work, executed en camaieu de bleu in a highly painterly manner, typical of the artist's most beautiful drawings.
JENS CHRISTIAN JENSEN - Replik oder Kopie — Die Frage der Eigenhändigkeit im Werk Caspar David Friedrichs am Beispiel des "Kreuz an der Ostsee" (pp. 141—154)
Replica or Copy — The "Cross by the Baltic Sea" as an Example in the Discussion of the Authorship of Paintings by C. D. Friedrich
In several cases there are variations of Caspar David Friedrich's paintings and for years there has been disagreement within the scholarly Friedrich-research about their status in his oeuvre and as to whether they are replicas executed by Friedrich himself or copies by other artists. In the first part of the study Jensen comes to the conclusion that throughout his entire life Friedrich was compelled to be concerned about his livelihood, especially after his marriage in 1818 and the birth of his two daughters and a son. The artist could not afford to decline a commission or a request to purchase even if it concerned replicas of existing pictures. On the basis of this fundamental problem the next section of the paper presents four known versions of "The Cross by the Baltic Sea" (see I—IV). In addition to this, there is a drawing in a Friedrich's letter to the painter Luise Seidler, dated 9 May 1815 (VI), and a gouache in private collection (VII). These works are contrasted with a version that came to light in an auction in Berlin in 1998 (V). Whenever possible, infrared-reflectograms respectively infrared-photos of the paintings have been published. In the conclusion Jensen states that the painting V is the one which C. D. Friedrich mentions in his letter to Madame Seidler on 9 May 1815. It was a private commission and the small format of version V corresponds with this fact. The larger versions — especially II — on which the artist may have collaborated partially, have the character of an epitaph, which V does not possess. The composition and the execution in version V are strikingly unique. Finally, the author again dwells on the question of possible copyists who probably executed the versions I—IV.
PIETRO C. MARANI - Di Bramantino e da Bramantino: un'altra versione della Pieta Artaria gia nella collezione Reale dei Savoia (pp. 155—164)
By and after Bramantino. Another version of the Artaria Pietà formerly in the Savoy Royal Collection
The rediscovered Pietà, which was once in the Artaria Collection in Vienna at the end of the 19th century and later disappeared, was attributed to Bartolomeo Suardi called Bramantino by Wilhelm Suida (1902, 1905, 1910, 1953), Roberto Longhi (1955, 1973) and Bernard Berenson (1968). Many copies and later versions of it are known. The Artaria panel and these copies were discussed again recently by the author in a monograph published in Paris in 2005. According to the more recent chronology of the works by Bramantino, the Artaria panel was then dated around the end of the 15th century. Now, another unpublished copy of it has been discovered in a private collection in Legnano, once considered to be the original by Pico Cellini (the famous Italian restorer and connoisseur) and coming from the Savoy Royal Collection in Rome (there until 1944 circa). In that painting, tempera on canvas, the detail of a face, in full view (not entirely visible in the Artaria panel and in the other versions), has been considered by Cellini the self-portrait of the artist. On the basis of that "portrait", Pico Cellini assigned the painting once in the Savoy Collection to a period following the Crucifixion now in the Brera Gallery in Milan, then considering it late in the artist's career. Discussing this proposal and presenting a new examination of the St. John in Patmos by Bramantino in the Borromeo Collection, the author dismissed that hypothesis and suggested for the Artaria panel and for the Borromeo St. John a new date around the very first years of the 16th century.
DAVID SUMMERS - Michelangelo's Battle of Cascina, Pomponius Gauricus, and the Invention of a gran maniera in Italian Painting (pp. 165—176)
This essay begins from the coincidence between the publication in Florence in 1504 of the De Sculptura of Pomponius Gauricus and Michelangelo's beginning to work on the cartoon for the Battle of Cascina, which was to have joined Leonardo da Vinci's Battle of Anghiari in the Sala del Gran Consiglio of the Palazzo della Signoria in Florence. Gauricus's varieties of perspective — from above, on the level, and from below — are examined, and it is suggested that the first of these is a justification for the arrangement of space to be seen in Roman battle sarcophagi. A fourth, "superior" perspective is compositional, a metaphorical "brilliance" achieved by the display of skill and ingenuity, especially in figures. This corresponds with the "terrible" style in rhetoric of Hermogenes, appropriate to grand themes such as battles. Michelangelo took the gran maniera invented for the Battle of Cascina to the lofty themes of the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
ANETA GEORGIEVSKA-SHINE - Titian, Europa, and the Seal of the Poesie (pp. 177—185)
Titian's Europa (1559—1562) is widely regarded as one of the pinnacles of his poesie, as well as one of the most striking examples of his pittura di macchia. This essay proposes that the special place of this painting may already be suggested in a letter of April 26, 1562, where Titian describes it as the "seal" (soggello) of all of the works he had created for Phillip II of Spain up to that point. This qualifier calls to mind the term "seal" (from the Greek sphragis) used for literary compositions that conclude a cycle with decidedly programmatic goals — to establish their authors' "signatures", affirm their inimitable styles, and express their hopes for the survival of their opus for posterity. Titian's choice of this term may also reflect the status of the myth of Europa among its classical literary authorities. As classicists have long recognized, the ekphrasis on Europa in Achiles Tatius's novel Leucippe and Clitophon announces the power of love as the leitmotif of this narrative. Similarly, in Book 2 of The Metamorphoses, the abduction of Europa provides a kind of conclusion (sphragis) on a series of amorous exploits of the gods. Last but not least, Ovid returns to this myth in Book 6 of his poem in order to restate one of the key ideas within The Metamorphoses — the contest between divine and human ingagno, as well as nature and art. Through a skillful collation of these, as well as other literary (and visual) sources, Titian invokes within his "inimitable" invention a number of these allegorical and art-theoretical facets of the myth of Europa, including its exemplary value as a love-narrative, as well as the idea of paragone between forms of artifice.
FILIPPO PEDROCCO - Titian's Ecce Homo Reconsidered (pp.187—196)
The article examines a panel painting showing Ecce Homo, recently recognised as a work by Titian for the Duke Guidobaldo II della Rovere which (based on archival sources) was sent to Urbino by the Duke's envoy in Venice, Giovanni Francesco Agatone, in January 1566. The work was discovered fairly recently in the Poor Clares convent of Casteldurante (Urbania), a town which used to belong to the Duchy of Urbino, and to which the last of the dukes, Francesco Maria II (the heir of Guidobaldo II) withdrew for the last years of his life. Francesco Maria seems to have been particularly fond of the convent, so the donation of the painting to the Poor Clares, as a token of his profound devotion, appears a natural one. The panel, well known in literature, has recently undergone meticulous restoration by Ottorino Nonfarmale. The old varnish, repainting and the remains of a badly executed previous conservation have been removed, revealing a technique fully compatible with that, characteristic of confirmed works by Titian, and thus confirming that the painting is an autograph work by the master of Pieve di Cadore.
JAYNIE ANDERSON - "Through Adversity to Renown": Giovanni di Paolo's Painting of a Crucifixion in Canberra (pp. 197—206)
In 1977, on the advice of Sir John Pope-Hennessy, the National Gallery of Australia acquired a rare work, a Crucifixion by the Quattrocento Sienese artist Giovanni di Paolo. The painting is first recorded as an anonymous Italian work in the J. J. Visser collection, at The Hague, and emerged in the London sales in 1973, and has no early provenance. The artist was recognized by Pope-Hennessy, who had published the first monograph on Giovanni di Paolo in 1937, and for whom he had a life-long absorbing interest.
The Crucifixion is one of the most significant early Italian Renaissance works in Australia, and has been rarely discussed following its arrival in Canberra. In this article infra red reflectograms are published for the first time, which allow us to interrogate the painting. It is a unique example of an artist's patronage.
MARCIN FABIAŃSKI - Rifrazioni nella pittura al tempo di Caravaggio (pp. 207—223)
Refractions in Painting at the Time of Caravaggio
Circa 1600 a handful of Italian painters in a few scenes depicted glass vessels with clearly marked effects of refraction of light, which proves that to some extent they were aware of the problem. Annibale Carracci and Bartoleomeo Manfredi may have known Pausanias's enthusiastic description of Pausias's transparent glass painted in Epidauros, but with no mention of refraction this source could have only encouraged artists to observe light effects in transparent media. The most conspicuous deformations occur in flower vases in the Boy Bitten by a Lizard (Fondazione Longhi, Florence) by Caravaggio and in the Still Life (private collection) by an anonymous follower of Caravaggio. Interestingly, Caravaggio rendered the optical phenomenon less precisely than the anonymous author. Rather than from Caravaggio's neglect, this "mistake" seems to result from the artist's incomplete knowledge of simplified optical theories, as the one by Giambattista Della Porta. The growing interest of patrons and painters in discoveries of natural sciences was balanced by the desire to observe decorum in art, best expressed by Daniele Barbaro, who expressly referred to refraction. Such cautionary attitude may generally account for the artists' reluctance to paint optical deformations.
LOREDANA OLIVATO - Un americano nella Serenissima: James Fenimore Cooper e Palladio (pp. 225—229)
An American in the Serenissima: James Fenimore Cooper and Palladio
The essay concentrates on the observations about the Palladian architecture (in particular on the Teatro Olimpico in Vicenza), formulated by the novelist James Fenimore Cooper during his travel to Italy (1828—1830). On that occasion, while undertaking the traditional grand tour to visit the most representative places of the Renaissance culture, the writer revealed a peculiar position with regard to the great architect, on one hand, and to the structure of the theatre in Vicenza, on the other. Contrary to the habit of the numerous European travellers that used to consider the Olympic Theatre an element indispensable in the Palladian language of architecture, James Fenimore Cooper was curiously and "brutally" critical of it. In the author's opinion, the American writer was the first to realize the incongruence between the perspectives of the stage set designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi — who completed Andrea's enterprise after his death — and the Palladian architectural structure. He interpreted them as a misunderstanding of the organic apparatus inspired by the Antiquity, that Palladio had originally conceived.
MARILYN ARONBERG LAVIN - The Joy of St. Francis: Bellini's Panel in the Frick Collection (pp. 231—256)
The commission for Bellini's painting of St. Francis in the Frick Collection coincided with developments of the Observant movement in the Veneto in general, and, in particular, the refurbishing of the Franciscan convent in the Venetian lagoon on the Island of San Francesco del Deserto. This essay places the painting in this historical religious context in order to establish the meaning of its exceptional qualities of form and content.