Artibus et Historiae no. 54 (XXVII), 2006
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
 
90 EURO
Add to cart
Contents
MARILYN ARONBERG LAVIN - Images of a Miracle. Federico Barocci and the Porziuncola Indulgence (pp. 9—50)

Federico Barocci's painting of Il Perdono di Assisi is the first altarpiece to represent this controversial subject, and it does so in a completely unprecedented way. As such the painting is an notable statement of Franciscan and more generally Counter Reform theology. A previously unknown document affirms the date, the devotional content, and the historical context of the commission, which in turn explain the extraordinary papal license subsequently granted to the artist to sell his monumental print of the same subject directly to pilgrims. Most importantly, the study reveals Barocci as an artist of the intellect whose innovative style - ingratiating naturalism and lyrical effects of color and light, often thought of as anecdotal and effusively sentimental - in fact give life to the ideological and social contributions of the new era. 

LOUIS A. WALDMAN - Raffaellino del Garbo and His World: Commissions, Patrons, Associates (pp. 51—94)

This essay establishes new contexts for the career of the Florentine painter Raffaellino del Garbo (d. c. 1527-1528), through new documentary research. A contract drawn up on in 1502 reveals that Piero Corbinelli commissioned Raffaellino to paint an double-sided tabernacle near his villa at San Felice a Ema (lost). The original contract for Raffaellino's Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes reveals the identity of the individual who commissioned the painting on behalf of the convent, Don Innocenzo Riccialbani. Two unpublished sinopie for the Multiplication cast doubt on the recent attribution to Raffaellino of the St. Bernard with the Crucified Christ (Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi), here identified as the work of Sperandio di Giovanni. Another contract records that in 1516 a friar of Santo Spirito, Fra' Raffaello da Fivizzano, commissioned Raffaellino to paint an Assumption of the Virgin with Sts. Anthony, John the Baptist, James, and Sigismund. This iconography, and clues in the contract itself, suggest that Raffaellino's Assumption was intended for the Augustinian church of San Giovanni Battista, Fivizzano (destroyed, with much of its art, by an earthquake in 1920). The new documentation furnishes new details about Raffaellino's use of varying names at different periods in his life - a practice that long led scholars to believe his works were actually painted by several different artists. 

ELIZABETH PILLIOD - Method and Practice in Bronzino's Drawing Modes: From Study to Modello (pp. 95—127)

At present, a coherent picture of the development of Bronzino's style and practice in his drawings is lacking. Despite the pioneering work on the connoisseurship of Bronzino drawings by Craig Hugh Smyth, and important contributions on specific drawings by other scholars, contemporary scholarship tends to limit its efforts to connecting drawings to known commissions and recognizing Bronzino's hand only in a certain decisive, smooth, elongated sweep of line, and the creation of solid marmoreal forms. However, many of Bronzino's accepted drawings exhibit other stylistic characteristics, which because they deviate from this formula, tend to be elided in other published accounts. The significance of these stylistic markers has not been fully appreciated in the literature, in part, because they do not easily conform to notions of an artist's "early", "mature", or "late" periods. Instead, throughout his career, Bronzino appears to have drawn in several different manners, or "modes", depending on the type of drawing he was making. In this article it is suggested that the unusual stylistic characteristics of some of Bronzino's drawings may be directly related to the "mode" of the drawing he was preparing. By approaching in this manner the problem of Bronzino's draftsmanship as he moves from study to modello, it can be shown that the place of the drawing in the sequence of his creative process had an impact on the graphic style Bronzino used. A description of the drawing stages through which Bronzino developed his ideas reveals that he worked through an elaborate process. Some new proposals for Bronzino's authorship are included. 

HANS OST - Tizians Perseus und Andromeda. Datierungen, Repliken, Kopien (pp. 129—146)
Tizian's Perseus and Andromeda. Dating of the Painting, its Replicas and Copies
 
The origin of the Wallace Collection's painting has been controversially placed either in the years 1553-1556 or 1562-1565. Rearick (Artibus et Historiae, no. 33, 1996) regarded the picture as a second version painted in the 1560s after a completely differently composed and today lost first version of the 1550s. Contesting this view the article argues - based e.g. on an etching by Giulio Sanuto hitherto not sufficiently taken into account - that the London painting was shipped in 1556 from Titian to Philipp II in Gent. Furthermore the variant of the painting in Montauban, attributed to Titian's workshop, testifies to the fact that a second, slightly modified version of the canvas in the Wallace Collection remained in Venice even after the picture was delivered. A copy after the painting sent to Philipp II, done in Madrid at the end of the sixteenth century also supports the early date of the London picture. Finally, Luca Giordano's copy painted around 1700 in Madrid - for the first time reproduced here - is based on this version and not on the painting in the Wallace Collection as has been argued. 
IZABELLA GALICKA, HANNA SYGIETYŃSKA - Ein unbekannter Heiliger Franziskus in Ekstase des El Greco in Polen (pp. 147—160)
An Unknown Painting of St. Francis in Ecstasy by El Greco in Poland
 
In 1964 our work on an inventory of monuments of the Podlasie region (Eastern Poland) led to the discovery - in the church of the village Kosów Lacki - of a painting by El Greco showing St. Francis in Ecstasy. The much dirtied and partly overpainted canvas has been subjected in 1974 to an extensive restoration which uncovered the original signature of the artist ("Domenikos Theotocop...") and some pentimenti. The results of the technological investigations confirmed the attribution of the painting to El Greco formulated by the authors in 1964. Owing to problems of Church and State relations, the painting remained in virtual seclusion until October 2004, when it was put on view in the newly opened Diocesan Museum in Siedlce (Masovia). The nearest analogy to the painting from Kosów Lacki is provided by El Greco's Stigmatisation of St. Francis in the Madrid Abello collection (formerly Pidal collection) painted around 1580. 
 
In our analysis we have shown that in the Kosów Lacki painting the painter did initiate - though in a hesitant way - an iconographic formula of the Stigmatisation of St. Francis that was later developed fully in his depiction of the theme in the Abello collection. Thus the painting from Kosów Lacki provided also a model for most paintings in El Greco's St. Francis series, which is now dispersed all over the world. Both the Abello and the Kosów Lacki versions are undoubtedly autograph works; they were repeated in numerous variants or copies (a dozen or so) produced by his workshop or by his copyists. 
 
We also would like to put forward the hypothesis that El Greco had been the first artist to introduce - probably under the influence of the writings of St. Peter of Alcantara - into the scene of St. Francis's ecstasy and stigmatisation the motif of the skull. 
 
As a date for the Polish painting from Kosów Lacki we propose the end of the 1570s. 
 
It is not known how and when El Greco's St. Francis in Ecstasy reached Poland. It seems that before its apparition in Kosów Lacki (around 1927) it did pass through the art trade. 
 
AVIGDOR W. G. POSEQ - On Physiognomic Communication in Bernini (pp. 161—190)
Gian Lorenzo Bernini was acclaimed as one of the great artists of his time. Everyone who has written about his sculptures has dwelt on their extraordinary expressiveness but the works have seldom been considered in the light of contemporary notions of human expression, particularly the revival of the ancient theory of physiognomic typology. In drawing upon this tradition Bernini referred to its two complementary aspects: the diagnostic significance ascribed to the morphology of human faces and the communication of emotions by means of the dynamic mimicry of the features. The impact of these modes of representation is evident in the admirable vividness of his portraits and also in the conceptual meaning conveyed by the faces in some of his other sculptures. 
 
The discussion of some physiognomic aspects of the works of Bernini allows us to formulate several conclusions. One is the notion that his interest in human expression evolved from the humanistic theory that the "movements of the soul" are reflected in gestures and mimicry, which eventually developed into the theory of the artistic communication of the passions. Bernini was also aware of the recent revival of the ancient theory of the diagnostic aspect of the morphology of human faces, whose similarity to certain animals was thought to indicate a correspondence of behavioural modes. The zoomorphic typology is in many cases reinforced by allusions to the allegorical significance ascribed to certain animals in contemporary handbooks of iconology. Since the artistic representations are related to contemporary theories of expression the appreciation of what the works convey requires some knowledge their cultural background. Comparative physiognomy is no longer as popular as it was in Bernini's time and the same is also true of the texts on animal symbolism but reference to these traditions not only offers the modern viewer an opportunity to look at the works of Bernini as he meant them to be seen but also to understand them in the way they would have been understood by his public. 
GIANNI CARLO SCIOLLA - La Visitazione di Rembrandt gia a Torino. Una rilettura critica (pp. 191—199)
Rembrandt's Visitation, formerly in Turin. A Critical Reading
 
The article discusses Rembrandt's painting, The Visitation, dated 1640, now preserved in the Detroit Institute of Arts, USA. 
 
Initially The Visitation was a part of Prince Eugene of Savoy's collection which reached the royal court of Turin in 1741. During the French rule in Italy the painting was transferred to France and, even after the Restoration, it was not returned to Piedmont anymore. Later, the Rembrandt's work passed into the art trade and finally reached the Detroit Institute of Arts, at that time led by W. Valentiner, an eminent scholar of Rembrandt. 
 
The painting is analysed in relation to the evangelical text which inspired it; then it is compared with the iconographic models of the tradition in which Rembrandt worked. The iconographic sources of the painter's inspiration were Dürer, Heemskerck, as well as Rubens. The essay focuses on various iconographic and symbolic elements which are present in the sacred scene. 
 
The work was created near the stylistic turning-point in Rembrandt's career which is to be placed in the 1640s. Differing from the magniloquence of the contemporary Baroque paintings (culminating with The Night Watch), the little tablet is part of a series of a few paintings of religious and inspiration and landscape. It is small in size, sending forth an intense evocative sense of moving humanity; but it does not hold back from the constructive formulas deriving from the contemporary theatre. The difference is also attested to by some drawings of Visitation that Rembrandt had conceived in connection with the analysed work. 
 
The final part of the essay deals with the problem of the destination and purchaser of the small and fine painting. As we do not have any documentation, a notion - supported by indirect hints - is proposed, that the painting was commissioned by a Catholic patron (considering the uniqueness of the treated subject), with the purpose of placing it in his small "cabinet d'amateur". This indication is strengthened by the esteem of many Catholic sources of Rembrandt's art. 
 
ANITA F. MOSKOWITZ - The Case of Giovanni Bastianini - II: A Hung Jury? (pp. 201—217)

The view that Giovanni Bastianini (1830-1868) participated in the deceptions regarding his work sold as Renaissance, was questioned in my recent article in this journal. Based in part on the discovery of a damaging letter regarding Bastianini from Alessandro Foresi to the French dealer Davillier, Jeremy Warren has contended that the sculptor did, indeed, act with knowing fraudulent intent. In addition to questioning the validity of Warren's conclusions, this paper argues that Bastianini's generally uncontested reputation as a forger has created a barrier to assessing those sculptures that move beyond the historicizing, while also impeding the search for the names and styles of other masters working in stile. Scholars and curators who assume the important role of connoisseurs of Renaissance sculpture would do well to cast a less jaundiced eye on their collection of "forgeries" and related sculptures. 

MAREK ZGÓRNIAK - Fremiet's Gorillas: Why Do They Carry off Women? (pp. 219—237)

The paper considers two sculpture groups by Emmanuel Fremiet (1824—1910), each showing a gorilla abducting a woman. The first of them (1859) was prevented from being shown at the Paris Salon; doubts were raised about its artistic quality, and there were fears of offending public morals. However, thanks to help from Count de Nieuwerkerke, director of the Imperial Museums, it was put on display next to the entrance to the exhibition at the Palais de l'Industrie, amidst an atmosphere of scandal. The second sculpture (1887) met with a wholly different reception: support from the jury of artists, and hostility from the Ministry of Fine Arts. The artists awarded the sculptor a Medal of Honour. The authorities first declined to purchase the work for the national collection, and when they finally agreed, they ruled out casting the plaster in bronze and placing it in the Natural History Museum in Paris, for which it had been created. The paper treats Fremiet's work, and its subject matter, within the broader context of changing views on the nature and behaviour of gorillas, which were a topic of lively discussion in the nineteenth century. The parties to the argument invoked contemporary writings on natural history and travel, in which these primates often appeared in connection with the controversy over Darwin's theory. The paper considers the extent to which Fremiet, usually regarded as a dispassionate and scrupulous illustrator, was in tune with the state of scientific knowledge in the case of the two sculptures, which were created almost thirty years apart. The paper explores the reasons for the state administration's reserve toward the second sculpture, and mentions some instances of the gorilla myth's appearance in popular culture. That the gorilla myth is a powerful and attractive one is manifested in repeated returns to the theme, such as the many remakes of King Kong.