Artibus et Historiae no. 43 (XXII), 2001
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
90 EURO
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Contents
SYLVIE BÉGUIN - Portrait d'homme tenant un petit Pétrarque par Parmigianino (pp. 9—16)
The Portrait of a Man Holding a Small "Petrarch" by Parmigianino
 
Portrait of a Man Holding a Small "Petrarch" (private collection) was already some time ago very accurately attributed to Parmigianino by Philip Pouncey. It is a good example of small-size portraits painted by the artist for private commissioners in Rome in 1526. The painting reflects the influence of Raphael, under which Parmigianino was at that time: his style is reminiscent of the one represented by the exponents of the Northern-European school of portraiture (Jean Clouet, A Man with a "Petrarch", Windsor Castle). At the same time, it is akin to the style of artists from the circle of Raphael (Gian Francesco Penni, Portrait of a Man, Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland). The role and influence of Parmigianino in the development of this kind of portraiture — intimate, destined to a circle of close friends of the sitter — seems to be very significant.
MICHIAKI KOSHIKAWA - Apelles's Stories and the Paragone Debate: A Re-Reading of the Frescoes in the Casa Vasari in Florence (pp. 17—28)
The frescoes in the Sala delle Arti in the Florentine home of Giorgio Vasari have been the subject of several interpretative studies. These studies have analysed the three scenes from the Elder Pliny's legends on antique artists in relation to Vasari's art-theoretical concepts such as disegno, imitazione, and giudizio. While they have aptly characterized this fresco cycle as "depicted art theory", however, two fundamental questions regarding these frescoes still remain unsolved: First, scholarly opinions are divided as to the identity of the artist painting a female figure in his studio (Apelles or Zeuxis). Second, while some scholars suppose Vincenzo Borghini's intervention to the thematic invention of the fresco cycle, others, to the contrary, assume Vasari's "refusal" of Borghini's advice. This paper attempts to find answers to these questions through a reading of Vasari's pictorial representations against Borghini's art-theoretical thoughts recorded in his manuscript entitled Selva di Notizie (1564). The author points out that the theme of "Apelles painting Diana" had become a topos demonstrating the affinity of painting with poetry in the 16th-century art theory. This idea is eloquently expressed in Borghini's discussion on "Painting, Sculpture, Poetry, and Music", and Borghini's arguments for painting's superiority over sculpture find exact counterparts in Vasari's representations (the great variety of light effects and natural phenome­na, harmonious combination of foreground and background, etc.). Further, Borghini's comparison between well-composed historia and music seems to provide an appropriate explanation for the fact that Vasari included the Allegory of Music next to that of Painting. All these coincidences would suggest that the meanings of the Sala delle Arti frescoes had a kind of "sub-plot" which is a demonstration and exaltation of painting's universal ability to imitate nature in the paragone context. The program of this decoration was most probably suggested by the author of Selva di Notizie, and its implied message is painting's self-eulogy based on the thoughts shared by Vasari and Borghini, especially after the reheated paragone debate around the time of Michelangelo funeral.
CHRISTINE M. BOECKL - Giorgio Vasari's San Rocco—Altarpiece : Tradition and Innovation in Plaque Iconography (pp. 29—40)
Giorgio Vasari's St. Roch Altar, 1535—1537, had a learned program that far exceeded the expectations of most devotional commissions. The main panel depicts God the Father sending disease into the world; the three predella panels, recounting the story of the Davidian Plague, provide a commentary on the central theme. Created during the decades that characterized the hiatus between the late medieval tradition, which developed in the aftermath of the Black Death, and the rise of the more restrictive Tridentine era, it belongs to a select group of masterpieces that reflects not only iconographic changes but also the adjustments of the Church's attitude toward epidemic disease. For his creation, Vasari consulted numerous, and sometimes seemingly dichotomous sources, such as Scripture along with classical texts and antique imagery. Contrary to earlier plague votives that stressed the merit of human suffering,the Aretine altar implied an aspiring message, quoting a historic example which promised the faithful that God would reward their hardships with a more auspicious future.
 
CLIFFORD M. BROWN - Caradosso Foppa and the Roman Mint (pp. 41—44)

Tradition has it that Caradosso Foppa worked for the mints in both Milan and Rome. Until now, documentary proof of this has been lacking. A document in the Rome archives proves that this was true. Upon the death of Ulrich Fugger (1510), his heirs sought to renegotiate the agreement that existed between their family and Caradosso. Jacob Fugger agreed that Caradosso could continue to direct the mint, but only if he were willing to reimburse to the family half the real cost of the "furnishings and provisions for the functioning of the said mint".

LARS OLOF LARSSON - Sprechende Bildnisse. Bemerkung zu einigen Porträts von Rembrandt (pp. 45—54)
Speaking Portraits. Remarks on Some Portraits by Rembrandt
 
The article discusses some portraits by Rembrandt in connection with theories of rhetoric. Point of departure is the posthumous portrait of J. C. Silvius which is compared to the artist's portraits of C. Claesz. Anslo and with his earlier portrait of Silvius. The analysis focuses on formal and decorous problems connected with the representation of speech in portraits, including a discussion of Vondel's famous four lines on Anslo's portrait as well as on other examples of the tradition they belong to.
In comparison with Rembrandt's portrait of Jan Asselyn the means of characterization to be derived from rhetorical actio is discussed.
JOSEPH MANCA - Style, Clarity, and Artistic Production in a Courtly Center: Some Myths about Ferrarese Painting of the Quattrocento (pp. 55—63)

Among the regional centers of fifteenth-century Italy, the city-state of Ferrara is distinguished by particularly distinctive and noteworthy artistic styles. Unfortunately, a number of gen­eralizations have arisen that give a false idea of the nature of the local styles. These myths include the notions that Ferrarese art of the Quattrocento was particularly harsh and neurotic, that artistic production was unusually collaborative, and that the iconography was more complex than that found elsewhere in Italy. In addition, the overestimation of the role of particular artists there has given rise to a number of attributional problems, especially the idea that Cosme Tura provided drawings or cartoons for the most important surviving mural cycle of Quattrocento Ferrara, the Hall of the Months in the Palazzo Schifanoia.

RALPH LIEBERMAN - Regarding Michelangelo's Bacchus (pp. 65—74)

Michelangelo's Bacchus, a more subtle and complex work of figure sculpture than has been recognized, can be fully understood only when it is seen from several different angles by a spectator walking around it. In some views the figure seems to be lurching and off-balance, while in others he appears stable and gracefully poised. This study is an analysis of the varying impressions gained from a number of significant views of the figure, and argues that Michelangelo consciously sought to add a temporal dimension to the work by having Bacchus appear to lose, regain, then lose his balance again.

KATHERINE A. MCIVER - Matrons as Patrons: Power and Influence in the Courts of Northern Italy in the Renaissance (pp. 75—89)

Situated in the heart of Giulio Boiardo's and Silvia Sanvitale's new apartment complex in the Rocca Nuova at Scandiano, the Camerino dell'Eneide was a small rectangular room, lavishly decorated. The imagery depicted on its walls, particularly in the octagon, speaks not only to the more usual issues of self-fashioning, joint patronage and marriage alliances, but, more importantly, it illustrates the concept of the bilinear family. It is my contention that Laura Pallavicina is the matron of a bilinear family; she speaks of her power and of her position, not only through her daughter, Silvia Sanvitale, but in all her dealings whether it be through her letters to her life-long friend, Pope Paul III Farnese, or in the arrangement of the marriage of her son, Alfonso, to Gerolama Farnese in 1538. Through their artistic patronage both Pallavicina and Sanvitale, who used their own wealth to commission art and architecture, communicate publicly to their peers about fami­ly, religion and politics. Indeed, Laura Pallavicina, through her children, creates a certain dynastic image that conforms to the model of the bilinear family.

SABINE POESCHEL - Rubens Battle of the Amazons as a War-Picture. The Modernisation of a Myth (pp. 91—108)

The article presents a new historical interpretation of the Battle of the Amazons and a new aspect for the dating. Rubens used the ancient literary sources for his mythological paintings but they always include ulterior meaning, related to actual events. This painting has not yet been linked with contemporary aspects, although none of the ancient myths can be related to it. Rubens interpreted the theme in an entirely new way showing an unusual degree of brutality and specific contemporary customs. The imminent assumption of hostilities caused the novel demonstration of violence apart from literary programs. This interpretation as a war picture dates the Battle towards the end of the armistice in the Low Countries in 1621.

GERLINDE GRUBER - Realistic Elements in the Work of Giacomo Francesco Cipper before 1715 (pp. 109—125)
With this paper the author attempts to show that in some hitherto unpublished paintings Cipper works from real life. His oeuvre has always been characterised as anecdotal or erotic, but his early period work especially has a lot of realistic, "portrait-like" compositions with a psychological intensity that offers an important point of departure for Ceruti's genre scenes.
Cipper's early work has to be seen in a different light: it is not a development for mastering his central spatial perspective, as Proni proposed in 1994. To the contrary, it is linked to the "northern" principle of the projection onto the pictorial plane as first discussed by Pacht.
The colouristic development of the oeuvre will be demon­strated with the help of the colour reproductions of some important, crucial paintings known until now only in black and white.
DEBORAH HOWARD - Seasonal Apartments in Renaissance Italy (pp. 127—135)

In the Italian Renaissance, architects turned to antique sources such as Pliny and Vitruvius as they began to open up domestic space to light, air and landscape. Instead of relying on the thermal inertia of the thick-walled mediaeval castle, they enlarged windows and added loggias to both villas and palaces. Inspired by the ancients, they incorporated seasonal flexibility into their designs, allowing vertical or horizontal shifts from one apartment to another according to the time of year.

HENRY KEAZOR - Il beneficio delle statue - Antikrezeption in Guido Renis "Herkules"-Zyklus (pp. 137—160)
Il beneficio delle statue - Antikrezeption in Guido Renis "Herkules"-Zyklus
 
Since hitherto in only two paintings of Guido Reni's "Hercules"-cycle (Paris, Louvre) definite references to the antique could be detected, the element of the classical tradi­tion which connects these four paintings (apart from their common subject of the hero Hercules) has not been suffi­ciently appreciated.
Indeed,a deeper consideration reveals that Reni already for the representation of the "Hercules on the pyre", the first of these pictures (executed from 1617 on for the duke of Mantova), had recourse to the antique statue of a faun from where he drew inspiration for the poise of his protagonist. Since such an orientation on the model of antique sculpture can also be observed in the painting of the "Herkules and the Hydra", it appears to be obvious that the artist tried to refine the execution of the honourable and important commission for the four paintings by profiting from (as Malvasia called it) the "beneficio delle statue".
JANINA ŁADNOWSKA - Katarzyna Kobro - A Sculptor of Space (pp. 161—185)

The article presents Katarzyna Kobro's innovative contribution to the sculpture of the 1920s and 1930s. Born in Moscow, Kobro may have been educated by Kasimir Malevich and Vladimir Tatlin , whose works influenced her artistic formation. The most original and important of her works are the Unistic sculptures. The main postulate of the Unistic theory regarding sculpture was unity of the work of art and its environment. An Unistic sculpture had to maintain links with space; to achieve this, the solid, which closes off the sculpture from space, had to be renounced. The very first sculptures to renounce the solid were Kobro's "spatial compositions", constructed so as to form a continuum with infinity and with time. Their extremely simple structure, capable of both penetrating and absorbing space into itself, was in accordance with the Unistic theory which stated that a sculpture does not exist for its own sake, its aim being to sculpt space. In 1945 Kobro donated all her sculptures to the Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź, where they can be seen today, displayed in the "Neo-Plastic Room" designed by Kobro's husband, Władysław Strzemiński.