Artibus et Historiae no. 42 (XXI), 2000
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
90 EURO
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Contents
ANDRÉ CORBOZ - La Danae di Mabuse (1527) come testimonianza dell'idea di Sancta Antiquitas (pp. 9—29)
Danae by Mabuse as a Testimony of the Idea of Sancta Antiquitas
 
Mabuse's Danae (1527) is generally considered as a lower category erotic piece, but some have yet noticed its analogy with the Annunciation. After having underlined the connections between paganism and Christianism (their iconographies being often mingled, more particularly after the publication of the Corpus hermeticum by Ficino after 1463), this essay brings back the importance of the astrology in the reli­gious believes and practices of princes and popes. The identification of the background buildings (Salomon's Temple and the edifices that come with it) authorises us to come to the conclusion that Danae and the Virgin Mary are identical, or even to reduce the latter to the former.
CARLO DEL BRAVO - Rocce. Sul significato d'un motivo in Leonardo e nei leonardeschi (pp. 31—39)
Rocks. On the Meaning of a Motif in Paintings by Leonardo da Vinci and his Followers
 
In his XLI letter to Lucillius, Seneca equals the sublimity of rocks to that of a virtuous man. Very likely, Seneca' Stoic simile haunted the mind of Leonardo da Vinci, when he painted the background of his Virgin of the Rocks after his first journey from Florence to Milan. The rocky backgrounds may have retained that implicit meaning for Leonardo's first Milanese fol­lowers: Boltraffio (who was also affected by Gerolamo Casio's thought) and Marco d'Oggiono. However, as the sixteenth century moved on, in the context of the Cyrenaic philosophy in the wake of Anniceris - possibly introduced from the Veneto by Andrea Solario - the sublimity adumbrated by the painted rock formations in Luini's paintings seems to suggest the sacrifice accepted by the Redeemer for the love of mankind.
CARSTEN-PETER WARNCKE - Cellinis "Saliera" - der Triumph des Goldschmieds (pp. 41—52)
Cellini's 'Saliera' — a Triumph of the Goldsmith
 
In a manner of invention by inversion, Benvenuto Cellini designed his famous saltcellar for Francis I as a combination of spice-plates and the so-called nefs, turning bottom to top, big to small, and vice versa. The wedding of the elements, as an allegory, shows the welfare of the nation guaranteed by the reign of the king. Being a piece of table equipment, the saltcellar of course has to be looked at from above. Cellini defines eight positions of view-points, and a set of eight photographs, published here for the first time [Fig. 2—9], documents how they show different aspects of the panegyric programme. Furthermore, to create the saliera as a triumph of the goldsmith Cellini varies the reclining figures from the Medici Chapel and rivals Michelangelo, who designed a saltcellar for Francesco Maria delia Rovere, Duke of Urbino, in 1537.
JOHN T. PAOLETTI - The Rondanini Pieta Ambiguity Maintained Through the Palimpsest (pp. 53—80)

Michelangelo's Rondanini Pietà, while relatively new to the master's canon of accepted works, is often discussed as part of his changing conception of the Pietà as an iconographic type -especially the relationship between mother and son. But close observation of the statue reveals that the work was not begun with the idea of having Mary hold her Son. Furthermore, Michelangelo's retention of fragments of successive stages in the carving in an elaborate sculptural palimpsest suggests that the dialogue of different historical moments is itself not just a part of the formal history of the work, but of its meaning as well.

WILLIAM E. WALLACE - Michelangelo, Tiberio Calcagni, and the Florentine Pieta (pp. 81—99)

This paper examines Michelangelo's unfinished Florentine Pietà and the part played by Tiberio Calcagni in its 'completion'. The essay first considers the ambition and technical difficulty of carving a marble group of four figures, which may partly explain Michelangelo's abandonment of the work. Secondly, new documents provide a fuller picture of Michelangelo's long-time friend and assistant, Tiberio Calcagni. Calcagni's relations with Michelangelo are discussed, as is his critical role in saving the damaged sculpture. Finally, the essay considers the anomalous inclusion of the Mary Magdalene and her importance for the composition and iconography of the sculpture.

RICHARD C. TREXLER - True Light Shining: vs. Obsurantism in the Study of Michelangelo's New Sacristy (pp. 101—117)

Despite a 1981 essay by Trexler and Lewis, art historians continue to follow the Varchi/Vasari misidentification of Michelangelo's captains in the New Sacristy of San Lorenzo, Florence. The present article restates and strengthens the Trexler-Lewis arguments for those captains' re-identification and for seeing in the chapel an innovative and triumphant Adoration or Journey of the Magi. The author surveys the published and epistolary reactions (or non-reactions) to the earlier article, calling attention to the low intellectual level of some criticisms. He calls on such Italian art historians to bring a careful study of historical context back into their scholarly equations. As things now stand, he concludes, some art historians still imagine 'their' artists as unrestrained by the formal, social and political behavioral conventions within which humans pass their lives, which in turn permits these scholars to write as if they themselves need not be restrained by established scholarly discourses.

MARIA GORDON-SMITH - The Influence of Jean Pillement on French and English Decorative Arts. Part Two: Representative Fields of Influence (pp. 119—163)

Jean Pillement appears somewhat as a legend as the ascriptions "in the style (or manner) of Pillement", "school of Pillement", "attributed to Pillement", and "after Pillement" are the most frequently used expressions related to his works in the literature on the subject of decorative arts. Such cautious attributions deserve a closer look. The purpose of the present study is twofold. First to provide significant illustrations Pillement's documented presence in the various fields of applied arts and, by the same token, to link, as much as possible, examples of his works with some of the countless interpretations which they inspired, ranging from exact copies to mere echoes.

HANS KÖRNER - Der fünfte Bruder. Zur Tastwahrnehmung plastischer Bildwerke von der Renaissance bis zum frühen 19. Jahrhundert (pp. 165—196)
The Fifth Brother. On Tactile Perception of Sculptural Works of Art from Renaissance till the Early 19th Century
 
Sincethe "Paragone" of the 16th c. the theoreticians of art emphasized the importance of the sense of touch for the per­ception of sculptural works. Nevertheless, there is yet no summarized treatise dealing with the problem of tactile perception in the history of art. The article "The Fifth Brother" (the title relates to Jacopone da Todi's allegory of the sense of touch) states the close relationship between the tactile approach of the connoisseur and the frequent literary theme of the sexual intercourse with a seductive statue in Renaissance and Baroque; it describes the beginnings of today's "Do not touch" attitude in museums; and it deals with the new ideal of the observer, emerged in the second half of the 18th c. In this context, above all, the role of the sense of touch in the writings of Winckelmann, Herder and Heinse will be discussed.
JAN K. OSTROWSKI - A Great Baroque Master on the Outskirts of Latin Europe. Johann Georg Pinsel and the High Altar of the Church at Hodowica (pp. 197—216)
Johann Georg Pinsel (d. 1761 or 1762), working in the south-eastern territories of the old Poland (e.g. in Buczacz and Lvov which are within the borders of the Republic of Ukraine now) from ca. 1750, is an exceptionally mysterious figure. His name appeared in specialistic literature in the interwar period but it was only in the recent years that his names, the approximate date of his death and some biographical details were found out. Archival sources and well-grounded attributions link dozens of sculptures with Pinsel (including the complete interior decorations of the churches at Horodenka and Hodowica, and the figural decorations of the facade of the Cathedral of St George in Lvov; the architecture of all those structures was designed by Bernard Meretyn with whom Pinsel had close professional and personal ties). Unfortunately, the majority of the artist's works was destroyed during the Soviet rule.
 
The article contains a detailed analysis of the high altar in the parish church at Hodowica near Lvov, which was erected on the basis of Meretyn's design between ca. 1751 and 1758. The structure of the retable is supplanted by a fresco on the wall closing the chancel (the schema of the illusionistic architecture was modelled on a drawing by Guiseppe Galli Bibbiena, published in 1740), which serves as a background for Pinsel's exceptionally expressive and lively sculptures, carved in full rounds. The whole composition is the Late Baroque Gesamtkunstwerk, based on strong contrasts between architecture, painting and sculpture, and a manifestation of the iconographic programme referring to the parallel between Christ's Passion and the Eucharist.
 
Pinsel's sculptures which are his most splendid works (The Mother of Sorrows, The Sacrifice of Isaac, Samson and the Lion) bespeak the artist's good knowledge of Italian and central European sculpture (e.g. Samson and the Lion is reminiscent of S. Maderna's composition). Pinsel's works played a tremendous role in the circle of Lvov, which had its own original and flourishing school of sculpture in the eighteenth century, and they were numerously copied.
 
The virtuoso art of Pinsel is typified by vivid expressive­ness which is rooted in the expressive trend of late Baroque sculpture of the eighteenth century (M.D. Braun) and is in many respects close to Bavarian Late Rococo sculpture (I. Günther). The excellent artistic quality of Pinsel's œuvre ranks him among the most outstanding sculptors in Central Europe in the eighteenth century.