Artibus et Historiae no. 18 (IX), 1988
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
90 EURO
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Contents
CECIL GOULD - A Major New Attribution to the Young Correggio (pp. 9—16)
At the suggestion of Dr. Paolo Piva, the end wall of the refectory of the former monastery of S. Benedetto Po (Mantova) has recently been stripped of whitewash to reveal a large and elaborate architectural fresco surrounding a blank rectangle inset into the wall. There is evidence that this inset area originally contained a free copy in oils of Leonardo's Last Supper. Vasari mentions this copy as the work of Fra Girolamo, a brother of Francesco Bonsignori. This Last Supper is now in the museum at Badia Polesine. A letter from the year 1509 by Gregorio Cortese, who was cellerario of S. Benedetto Po, says that he wanted to get Raphael to paint the refectory wall. As that proved impossible, he proposed to entrust the work to a young and promising painter whom he does not name. In 1514 the young Correggio was commissioned to pain some organ shutters for S. Benedetto. It is suggested that the painter to whom Cortese referred was Correggio and that he is responsible for the newly uncovered fresco. It would be among his earliest works. 
 
ADAM S. LABUDA - Die Auferstehung Christi im Krakauer Marienaltar. Zum Problem von Körper und Bewegung in der Kunst von Veit Stoß (pp. 17—39)

The Resurrection of Christ in the St. Mary Altar in Cracow. On the Problem of Body and Movement in the Art of Veit Stoss

 

The figure of Christ was treated from the perspective of the Medieval Christian concept of the purified body of the Resurrected. Christ embodies most clearly what theologians called the dos agilitatis. This comes out in the bold straightforward movements in the figure of Christ. Veit Stoss achieved this effect through a unique, ingenious combination of pictorial elements from earleir representations of this theme. As model must have served the no longer extant Resurrection ascribed to Hans Pleydenwurff, as well as one by Caspar Isenmann. An analysis of the Veit Stoss Resurrection in the context of the whole program of the opened retable shows the many layers of reciprocal relations of ideas between the particular parts of the altar. 

LORENZO GNOCCHI - Le preferenze artistiche di Piero di Cosimo de'Medici (pp. 41—78)
Piero di Cosimo's Preferences in Art
 
Between 1440 and 1469 many artists worked for Piero de' Medici: the painters Domenico Veneziano, Alesso Baldovinetti, and Benozzo Gozzoli; the sculptors Luca della Robbia, Desiderio da Settignano, and Andrea del Verrocchio; the architects Leon Battista Alberti and Filarete; as well as sculptors in bronze, like Maso di Bartolomei and Vittore Ghiberti. In contrast to these artists, others, particularly Beato Angelico and Andrea del Castagno, found their inspiration in the Byzantine tradition and presented simple everyday images, quite possibly with philological overtones from Lorenzo Valla. Certain complexes Piero commissioned are examined: the Medici chapel, the Chapel of the Santissima Annunziata, and the crucifix tabernacle in the church of San Miniato, or others catering to his tastes: the SS. Sacramento tabernacle in the church of San Lorenzo, the Marsuppini tomb by Desiderio da Settignano in the Church of Santa Croce, and the Pazzi Chapel in Pienza. The author's purpose is to define their structures and ethical significance, and to distinguish them from the concepts of Brunelleschi and Donatello, which Cosimo preferred. 
AUGUSTO GENTILI - Nuovi documenti e contesti per l'ultimo Carpaccio. II: I teleri per la scuola di San Stefano in Venezia (pp. 79—108)
New Documentation and the Background for the Later Works of Carpaccio. Part II: the Canvases for the School of San Stefano in Venice
 
In the light of new documentation and a resulting evaluation of the later activity of Vittore Carpaccio, this study examines the canvases with episodes of the "Stories of S. Stefano", carried out in the years 1511-20 for the Venetian Confraternity named after this martyr of the early Church. 
An iconological analysis brings to light, as the cycle proceeds, a progressive accentuation of anti-Jewish sentiment, corresponding to the situation in Venice at the time, just before and after the setting up of the Ghetto Novo in 1516. 
A careful examination of the mariegola, the school records, permits us to ascertain that, contrary to popular opinion, the friars who commissioned the cycle were not spinners and weavers of wool, but artisans of various kinds and varying levels of skill, with stone cutters of Lombard origin predominating. In the highest official positions of the school there appear prominent artists like Giovanni Buora, Pietro Lombardo, and Manfredo di Paolo da Bisson. Furthermore, a comparison of these facts with the mariegola provides us with the political reasons for the increasing number of stone cutters in this small devotional school of S. Stefano. 
To these sponsors corresponds the repeated symbolism in the canvases of the motif of the stone, the most telling examples of which are the two extraordinary monuments painted in the background of the Dispute. In this same canvas Vittore Carpaccio and Giovanni Bellini can be identified among the friars, which goes to show how painters, on the one hand, and sculptors and architects, on the other, got on in a spirit of cooperation in Venice in the early 1500's. 
MARC-JOACHIM WASMER - Gerhart Hauptmann und Jacopo Tintoretto (pp. 109—137)
Gerhart Hauptmann and Jacopo Tintoretto
 
In 1937 Gerhart Hauptmann discovered, in a monographic exhibit in Venice, Tintoretto to be his spiritual kin, and consequently sketched in a literary portrait of the artist from his paintings. In this aesthetic testament, so far largely neglected by research, the poet linked his fin-de-siecle understanding of art, permeated with topoi and his cult of genius, with what was later to be his mythical world view: with Tintoretto being the embodiment of the Dionysian artist, who by means of the creative process in bringing a painting into existence makes a fusion of art and life into a higher unity, with the contrast of light and darkness of forms symbolizing the dialectical conflict of the primeval forces. Venice, as crossroads of East and West, of antiquity and Christianity, offered this Übermensch an ideal hothouse cultural atmosphere. His essay is an interpretation based on creative experience, with the psychology of a confession, bound up with the Romantic philosophy of art, and belongs to a tradition of poets expressing their thoughts on the fine arts. In Hauptmann's other works, too, meaningful connections can be seen to date back to what happened in Venice in 1897. Influences can be also detected from Jakob Böhme mysticism of light, Hippolyte Taine's milieu theory, and Henry Thode's Wagnerian concept of the total art work, as well as from contemporary liteary research as seen by Wilhelm Dilthey, Oskar Walzel, and Friedrich Gundolf. 
 
FREDRIKA H. JACOBS - An Assessment of Contour Line: Vasari, Cellini and the Paragone (pp. 139—150)

Giorgio Vasari and Benvenuto Cellini were two of the most articulate and opinionated artists of the mid-sixteenth century. As participants in the paragone debates of 1547 / 48 and 1564, they argued eloquently for the superiority of their respective arts: painting and sculpture. In their other writings they discussed with technical acumen the application of theoretical ideas to the practice of making art. Surprisingly, the techniques they recommended and praised in their essays on l'arte del disegnare were not the methods they practiced in their ownhandling of line. According to Cellini the "bellissimo modo di disegnare" is a contour drawing that has been modelled "as in paintings". But pictorial passages in Cellini's two known finished drawings are overwhelmed by schematic hatchings and an insistence on contour line, thus creating a drawing that is not unlike schiacciato relief. Vasari assumes a position that is squarely opposite to that of Cellini. He designates a contour drawing as "the most masterful" use of the medium but, regardless of his stated preference for purely linear works, he typically modeled his drawings in the manner recommended by Cellini. Vasari's drawings are rendered "as [...] paintings." When Vasari and Cellini apply the practical value of l'arte del disegnare to bozzetti, their opposing positions on the paragone are made abundantly clear. 

CARLO DEL BRAVO - Letture di Poussin e Claude (pp. 151—170)
Readings of Poussin and Claude
 
The texts the paintings refer to in their iconography - texts which are often clumsy translations - are not just looked at, but studied extensively. Not only one particular iconology is sought for in each painting, but a hypothesis is made for an overall iconology for the artist or at least for him at one stage of his activity. By doing so, we reach the conclusion that the thought of Poussin in Rome consistently depends on Ovid's philosophy, with its Stoic conception of Providence joined with that of Love as an inevitably pacifying and civilizing force, and with a glorification of liberality and inspiration. One also concludes that Claude's thought depends on the Platonism of Plutarch, who speaks of sociability and action based on philosophy, of the presence of God in places and souls, and of the necessity of inner purity to receive God without harm. 
 
FRANCA TRINCHIERI CAMIZ - The Castrato Singer: From Informal to Formal Portraiture (pp. 171—186)

Caravaggio painted two versions of the Lute Player: one for Vincenzo Giustiniani, to be identified with the picture in the Hermitage Museum, the other for Cardinal Del Monte, to be associated with a newly attributed painting in a private collection. The sitter's sexual ambiguity is considered not as evidence of homoerotic overtones but in reference to the natural appearance of a castrato singing to the accompaniment of his lute. A castrato named Montoia actually lived at the same time as Caravaggio in Del Monte's palace, and this fact corroborated an important interest at that time for this newly emerging musical personality. Caravaggio's particular use of allegorical references is also considered, and these are compared to a later allegorical portrait of a castrato: Andrea Sacchi's Apollo Crowning Marc' Antonio Pasqualini. The latter glorifies a castrato's literary and poetical ambitions and most likely was conceived for the artist himself. Portraits have become the tangible symbols of fame and social position achieved by castrati in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Caravaggio's informal portrayals, on the other hand, evoke more specifically the erotic and sensual qualities of a castrato's particular manner of singing. 

DOROTHY M. KOSINSKI - Gustave Courbet's The Sleepers. The Lesbian Image in Nineteenth-Century French Art and Literature (pp. 187—199)

Courbet's The Sleepers may be seen as a Realist interpretation of the latent lesbianism evident in many eighteenth-century works with the mythological subject of Diana. The theme of lesbianism was popular in the nineteenth century, especially with artists or writers who advocated Realism or Naturalism, including Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Maupassant, Zola and Flaubert. Lesbianism was, as well, a preferred theme of popular erotica, witness the lithographs of Deveria or Tassaert. In Gautier's Mademoiselle de Maupin, lesbianism is one expression of the author's theory of art-for-art's sake, his attack on bourgeois conventions and morality. In Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal, lesbianism expresses his struggle between extremes of debauchery and asceticism. With the fin-de-siecle, lesbianism, along with androgyny, hermaphroditism and incest, figures in the works of Decadent authors. This theme also has a sociological or psychological context, reflecting the artist's, writer's or patron's personal response to an actual social phenomenon.

GARY SCHWARTZ - Connoisseurship: The Penalty of Ahistoricism (pp. 201—206)
In order to attribute an undocumented work, the connoisseur assesses its stylistic and technical relation to works of known authorship. It is argued here that these means are insufficient to achieve the stated purpose of connoisseurship. The archives are full of names of artists to which connoisseurs, for lack of comparative material, have never been able to attach a single work. Their creations presumably accrete to the names of "known" artists. This process itself undermines the basic assumption of the connoisseur that "something which cannot be lost reveals itself in [the artist's] every expression" (Friedländer). If the connoisseur's categories do not correspond to the artistic personalities of individual creators, to what historical reality do they correspond? 
As opposed to the ahistorical of establishing authorship ("this work is by X because it has such-and-such aesthetic and technical traits"), it is proposed that priority be given to arguments founded on historical evidence ("this work is by X because these-and-these documents indicate it is"). Fewer existing works will retain a positive attribution, but the historical picture will become clearer and richer. Art history in general would benefit, it is argued, from a sharper distinction between the study and criticism of existing objects and the reconstruction of the role of art history. 
 
DAVID EBITZ - Connoisseurship as Practice (pp. 207—212)

Connoisseurship has been criticized as subjective and unscientific. Yet it fosters several skills central to our activity as historians of art: a practiced eye, visual memory, sensitivity to quality, and an ability to re-create the creations of artists. And connoisseurship has more in common with contemporary scientific inquiry than with the empirical, positivist model of science on the basis of which it is still being criticized as unscientific. In practice, the attributions of connoisseurship and the hypotheses of science may be dependent, for the individual and for the context in which he or she operates, upon the interaction of the following: (1) the authority of the person uttering the hypothetical "truth", (2) the correspondence of the hypothesis with observable phenomena whose observation is in part determined by that "truth", (3) the internal coherence of the hypothesis and its consistency with related "truths", and (4) the fruitfulness of the "truth" in leading to further "truths".