Artibus et Historiae no. 55 (XXVIII), 2007
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
 
 
IN THIS ISSUE - SPECIAL ARTICLES IN MEMORY OF WILLIAM R. REARICK (1930—2004). PART I
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Contents
FULVIO ZULIANI - William R. Rearick (20.9.1930-31.7.2004) (pp. 9—10)
William R. Rearick (ma, a partire dai vent'anni, volle che amici e colleghi lo chiamassero Roger), era nato a Carlisle, nella Pennsylvania, da una famiglia di origini scozzesi. La sua passione per la storia dell'arte era maturata prestissimo. Mostrando ai visitatori della sua casa veneziana la non grande, ma prestigiosa, collezione di quadri e disegni che aveva raccolto negli anni, amava raccontare che l'Adorazione dei Magi che stava appesa nel suo studio-camera da letto, era stata da lui acquistata a quindici anni per pochi dollari, rompendo il salvadanaio, nel piccolo negozio di antiquariato di un'amica di famiglia, avendone riconosciuto la derivazione bassanesca: presagio di un interesse per la produzione di Jacopo Bassano e della sua bottega che avrebbe segnato tutta la sua vita di studioso. E ancora, sempre con l'affascinante capacità affabulatoria che lo distingueva, raccontava la sua esperienza, tra i 19 e i 21 anni, di Acting Curator of Art al Pennsylvania State Museum di Harrisbourgh, dove si era divertito a mettere ordine in una trascuratissima e modesta collezione di quadri ottocenteschi americani. Dopo il college, volle trasferirsi a New York, per continuare gli studi all'Institute of Fine Arts della New York University. Furono questi gli anni cruciali della sua formazione: nel 1955 fu per la prima volta a Venezia, nei giorni in cui si apriva la memorabile mostra di Giorgione, e in cui potč incontrare e conoscere tutti i maggiori storici dell'arte del tempo, che erano convenuti per il Congresso Internazionale della CIHA. E tra Venezia (presso l'appena costituita Fondazione Giorgio Cini) e l'Università di Padova restò due anni, perfezionandosi con Giuseppe Fiocco, e recandosi spesso a Firenze per incontrare Bernard Berenson. Tornato negli Stati Uniti, e conseguito il Master, dopo una proficua esperienza biennale come Lecturer and Researcher presso la Frick Collection, ed il matrimonio con Janet Cox, si trasferì ad Harvard per studiare con Sidney Freedberg, proponendogli come tesi di dottorato una monografia su Jacopo Bassano, che avrebbe consegnato, dopo una ricerca decennale, nel 1968. Tra il 1961 e il 1963 fu il primo fellow della Villa i Tatti a Settignano, e nel 1963 iniziò ad insegnare presso la John Hopkins University di Baltimora, per poi trasferirsi nel 1969 all'University of Maryland, dove restò fino al pensionamento, nel 1994. Per Roger Rearick il pensionamento significò due cose: potersi stabilire definitivamente nell'amatissima Venezia, circondato dai suoi libri e dai suoi dischi (era un appassionato conoscitore di musica classica ed operistica), e potersi dedicare con maggiore assiduità agli studi prediletti sul Rinascimento veneziano. Furono anni molto proficui, e non solo per le sue ricerche: come membro del Board of Directors di "Save Venice, inc.", si dedicò con passione alla salvaguardia del patrimonio artistico veneziano, promuovendo ed orientando moltissimi importanti restauri, di pitture, sculture e monumenti (come la chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli, e la facciata della Scuola Grande di San Marco). Il progressivo peggioramento della sue condizioni di salute riuscì a rallentare, ma non ad interrompere la sua attività: negli ultimi mesi di vita, quando ormai solo con enorme difficoltà riusciva a lavorare alla tastiera del computer, completò il catalogue raisonné dei disegni del Carpaccio, che doveva costituire il nucleo principale di un volume di saggi sul pittore veneziano, che si spera di poter pubblicare in un futuro prossimo. E ancora, negli ultimi mesi, contribuì attivamente all'istituzione, a Pieve di Cadore, della Fondazione Centro Studi Tiziano e Cadore, come membro del Comitato Scientifico, e ideatore e direttore della rivista "Studi Tizianeschi", di cui riuscì a realizzare il primo numero.
 
Le competenze, e la curiosità intellettuale di Roger Rearick si rivolgevano, senza preclusioni, a tutta la storia dell'arte, ma fin dall'inizio della sua attività di studioso decise di dedicare le sue ricerche, soprattutto, all'arte veneziana. Negli anni di formazione visitò instancabilmente musei, collezioni, chiese e gabinetti di disegni d'Italia e di tutta l'Europa, e, sorretto da una straordinaria memoria visiva, raccolse una quantità enorme di materiale che andò via via utilizzando nel corso degli anni, ma che in parte č ancora disperso in una serie di piccoli taccuini fitti di appunti, che lui solo riusciva a decifrare. E' un percorso di connoisseurship, nel solco della più nobile tradizione del secolo scorso, ma di un connoisseur che diffidava degli indizi sempre opinabili forniti dalla riproduzione fotografica, e che era soddisfatto solo con il contatto diretto, fisico, con le opere. I suoi interventi furono subito importanti: dal pionieristico saggio su Battista Franco a Venezia (1958-1959), ai diversi articoli in cui presentava inediti di Jacopo Bassano, estraendoli dalla sua monumentale tesi di dottorato (purtroppo, anche per la sua mole, mai pubblicata nella sua interezza). E fin dall'inizio fu chiaro un aspetto del suo atteggiamento metodologico, che costituisce uno dei suoi contributi più rilevanti alla storia dell'arte veneziana degli ultimi decenni, ovverossia l'attenzione alla produzione grafica degli artisti, non certo trascurata finallora (basti pensare ai volumi dei Tietze), ma relegata ad un interesse specialistico, separato: per Rearick invece è sempre stata una componente essenziale del processo creativo delle opere, indispensabile ai fini della ricostruzione della cultura e della personalità degli artisti. Saranno esemplari sotto questa luce il catalogo della mostra fiorentina del 1976, Tiziano e il disegno veneziano del suo tempo, i volumi sui Maestri veneti del Cinquecento pubblicati da Alinari (1977-1980), e i numerosi articoli e saggi dedicati ai disegni di singoli artisti, da Jacopo Bassano, a Lorenzo Lotto, a Paolo Veronese, a Jacopo Tintoretto. Una sorta di summa di questa ricerche pluridecennali sarà poi il volume Il disegno veneziano del Cinquecento (2001), pubblicato peraltro in una versione più sintetica di quella che Rearick in un primo momento avrebbe voluto. Anche in questa rapida rassegna non si possono poi non citare altri lavori: dai cataloghi delle due mostre su Paolo Veronese (Venezia e Washington, 1988), al lungo ed impegnato saggio su Iacopo Bassano che compare nel catalogo della mostra del 1992 (Bassano e Fort Worth), in cui pure trae le fila di decenni di studi. E citiamo ancora, fra i tanti interventi degli ultimi anni (fra i quali alcuni su questa rivista), sempre ricchi di nuove e spesso sorprendenti proposte, il saggio su Bernardo Strozzi (1996), quello su Nicolò Pizolo (1999), quello sui ritratti di Orlando Flacco (2001), e i diversi articoli su Tiziano, da quello sulle "mitologie" tarde (1996), a quello sulle Maddalene penitenti (2001), a quello, uscito ormai dopo la morte, sulla sua rivista Studi Tizianeschi (2004).
 
Ma un ricordo di Roger Rearick non può limitarsi ad una scarna rassegna bibliografica: amici, colleghi, studenti che si rivolgevano a lui per consigli e suggerimenti, non potranno mai dimenticare la sua straordinaria umanità, l'affabilità con cui accoglieva tutti nella sua bella casa veneziana, la generosità senza riserve con cui condivideva le sue vastissime conoscenze. Fino agli ultimi giorni, sembrava che l'affetto da cui era circondato gli desse la forza di resistere agli assalti della malattia, e di portare avanti vecchi e nuovi progetti, ma quattro anni prima, quando scriveva le ultime righe del suo volume sul disegno veneziano, che termina con una citazione da una poesia di Eliot, mi confessò in un attacco di malinconia che anche lui, come il disegno veneziano del Rinascimento, sentiva arrivare la fine, e sarebbe stata "not with a bang, but a wimper". 
CREIGHTON E. GILBERT - The Original Assembly of Donatello's Padua Altar (pp. 11—22)

The many proposals to reconstruct the original layout of the altar have left some problems still unsettled. A closer reading of the numerous documents, some not taken into consideration, permits a simpler solution especially for the predella, which has been primary theme of debate.

JACK WASSERMAN - Rethinking Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper (pp. 23—35)
The article argues two promises. The first concerns the fact that Leonardo's Last Supper in the Dominican refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan alludes to the forthcoming betrayal, as was stated already by Leonardo's contemporaries. However, the rendering of the theme breaks with tradition in that Judas and Christ do not reach in common for a plate. Thus, the plate situated before St. John is irrelevant to the betrayal iconography, contrary to the common belief.
 
The other premise derives from Johannes Antoniewicz's attempt to demonstrate more than a century ago the presence in the painting of a second theme, the initiation of the sacrament of the Eucharist. His hypothesis has not yet attained consensus. However, the theme is central to the painting's iconography, but it is rendered subtly and in a manner as to make the liturgical ceremony acceptable in the context of an unsanctified refectory. 
LOUISE GEORGE CLUBB - A Magic Book of Renaissance Shows (pp. 37—52)

A unique late 16-/early 17th-century Italian codex of 115 watercolor images belonging to the New York Public Library has been considered for some forty years to be a sample book of a commedia dell'arte company. Recent findings show that it belongs instead to the genre of "blow book" used by magicians, and that it depicts a range of Renaissance entertainments that includes comedy, music, dance, cavalcades, tournaments and scenes of hellfire. 

MIGUEL FALOMIR - Christ Mocked, a late "invenzione" by Titian (pp. 53—61)

Christ Mocked was one of the last "invenzione" by Titian. Several replicas of varying quality are known. This article proposes a new history for this "invenzione", including its formal and iconographic sources. It also identifies the first version, now lost, with a work owned by Philip II in the Escorial and analyses the various changes Titian introduced in the subsequent replicas. 

PETER HUMFREY - A new Saint Roch by Lorenzo Lotto (pp. 63—66)

The Saint Roch published here for the first time is identified as the pendant to Lotto's Saint Sebastian in a private collection in Bologna. The two canvases may in turn be identified as the principal fragments of the work painted by the artist in 1549-1550 for the church of Santa Maria Posatora, outside Ancona. 

LIONELLO PUPPI - Paolo Veronese in Spagna (pp. 67—72)
Paolo Veronese in Spain
 
The interest of the Spanish court to commission Paolo Veronese to work on the construction site of El Escorial, instead of Federico Zuccari who originally was to be entrusted with the work, has never been given much attention by scholars, with the exception of a brief notice by M. Brunner.
 
The project was revealed by Juan de Idaquez, the ambassador of Spain to the Serenissima, on 5 January 1585, when the negotiations with Zuccari seemed to have come to a standstill, and it was known that Philip II wanted a Venetian painter to decorate his new residence.
 
It is probable that Caliari had rejected the invitation, but certain episode - recorded here from the unpublished documents of the Archivo General de Simancas, within the scope of a full reconstruction of the negotiations which ultimately were to bring Zuccari to Spain - is of great interest, for it allows us to learn about the preferences and artistic taste at the Spanish court in the last decades of the Cinquecento, after the death of Titian. 
 
DIANA GISOLFI - Collaboration and Replicas in the Shop of Paolo Veronese and his Heirs (pp. 73—86)

This study looks at early testimony, the 1682 inventory of the Caliari house, and three examples of "replicas" by the heirs or shop of Veronese to reconsider how such paintings were made. The collaborative nature of the making of a mature "Veronese" or a work by Paolo's "Haeredi" is stressed along with the complexity of Veronese's process. It is suggested that "replicas" may have been produced by the reuse of Veronese's modelli or oil sketches, and it is noted that many chiaroscuro modelli and oil sketches of similar small scale are listed in the inventory. By squaring the modelli, whether executed in monochrome or in color, the composition could have been transferred by assistants to more than one canvas. 

FRANÇOISE VIATTE - Dessin de Véronese pour San Sebastiano (pp. 87—98)
Veronese's Drawings for San Sebastiano
 
To pay homage to William R. Rearick, the Louvre has presented, during the first months of the year 2006, a selection of Venetian drawings, including 28 pieces by Veronese and his school. On the occasion of the restoration of those, the discovery of a new sheet of studies was made on the verso of one of the studies for the decoration of the vault of the nave of the church of San Sebastiano in Venice. Both recto and verso of the drawing are very close to another one, belonging to the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin. The two drawings are related to the Old Testament Book of Esther.
 
This article seizes the opportunity to remind of the depth of the analysis by William R. Rearick of the Venetian Drawing and how much he valued the description of the latter. The Louvre drawing belongs to a set of 14 pieces bought by the museum in 1982/83, coming from the Nicolò Sagredo's collection, formed in Venice from the Caliari's bottega during the 17th century. The author deals with a comparative analysis of the two sheets of Berlin and Paris, whose sketches let us perceive all the details of Veronese's research, making use of la testa e gli occhi della mente, according to the Rearick's expression. 
SERGIO MARINELLI - Diversi aspetti di Domenico Brusasorci (pp. 99—104)

New and Distinctive Aspect of Domenico Brusasorci

 

Roger Rearick, one of the few scholars who understood the artistic prominence of the Cinquecento Veronese, apart from Paolo Caliari, would have undoubtedly been interested in the painting we are publishing here. The painting, a Santa Maria Maddalena, which comes from a still unknown villa in the Verona area, brings to mind the prototype of the long-haired Maddalenas by Gianfrancesco Caroto, master of Domenico Brusasorci. In addition, the nearly square-shaped canvas (114 × 107 cm.), seems to perfectly suit the sense of carnality emphasized in the figure. The work can be dated to the artist's juvenile years, definitely before 1554 when his distinguished benefactor, Gerolamo Fracastoro, died.

 

It is probable that the painting could be the same one mentioned by Bartolomeo dal Pozzo in 1718, "una mezza figura di Maria Maddalena. Di Domenico Brusasorzi bella al pari di Raffaello", and seen in Verona in the collection of Count Alvise Fracastoro, "in casa del Conte Alvise Fracastoro a' SS.Apostoli". At the beginning of that century the collection was described as a small 16th century interesting selection of works by Domenico and Felice Bruasorci and of Sante Creara, pupil of the latter. There is a charming possibility that the patron could reasonably be that Gerolamo Fracastoro (1478-1554), eminent humanist and physician, depicted in the frescoes of Palazzo Fiorio della Seta in Verona by Domenico between 1553 and 1554. After 1568 Gerolamo was also portrayed in the altar-piece for the Loggia del Consiglio in Verona painted by Orlando Flacco together with Bernardino India. Moreover he also received the honour of a statue by Danese Cattaneo, ordered in 1555 and placed on the arch of the Logge in Piazza dei Signori four years later in 1559.

 
Gerolamo was the author of the dialogues: Della poetica, D'intellezione, Dell'anima ("On Poetics", "On Intellection", "On the Soul"), but above all he was famous for his short poem Della Sifilide, over morbo Gallico ("On Syphilis or French pox"). Alvise, the owner of the Palace at Santi Apostoli at the time of Bartolomeo's description, descended from a collateral branch of the Fracastoro family different from the one Gerolamo belonged to. 
 
At Santa Maria ad Nives del Pavarano in Campiglia dei Berici, a Maddalena, probably by Domenico's son, Felice, but still echoing the father's style, is portrayed in the version of the penitent, aged and ugly though gracefully dressed, with the skull, the crucifix and the vase of ointments. The painting is on an altar of the Caliari di Cologna Veneta, now covered, where it stands as a warning to believers.
 
The monumental tension present in these works doesn't persist in the art of Domenico Brusasorci. We can still trace it in a preparatory drawing for an altar-piece, ignored among the painter's recently discovered works. It describes the Madonna di Loreto with two monumental figures, Giovanni Battista and a martyr, standing prominently in the foreground. The only possible chance of identification seems to be with that of the Vergine di Loreto, a painting that Saverio Dalla Rosa remembers in San Clemente in Verona, notwithstanding the fact that sourcers never mention the presence of saints in this canvas. The work is now placed on a side altar of the church, opposite a work by Felice.
 
The small altar-piece made for Sant'Egidio at Tregnago, Sante Agata, Caterina e Lucia, now enclosed in a 17th century mixtilinear stucco frame, shows elegant references to the Santa Cecilia by Raffaello in Bologna, which are rare in Veneto. Nevertheless it bears witness of a provincial patronage with social and devotional claims but totally lacking in any cultural pretension. 
 
MAURIZIO MARINI - La Morte di Procri e altri inediti di Polidoro da Caravaggio (pp. 105—114)
The Death of Procris and Other Unpublished Works by Polidoro da Caravaggio
 
Having dedicated a monographic study to Polidoro Caldara da Caravaggio (1499-1543; cf. M. Marini, Polidoro Caldara da Caravaggio - l'invidia e la fortuna, Venice, 2005), I was able to find out, how the biographical data concerning that artist - the pupil of Giovanni da Udine and collaborator of Raphael, born in Caravaggio in Lombardy - in the light of lack of biographical information on Michelangelo Merisi (1571-1610), another great painter from Caravaggio, has been used (for quite different reasons) as a kind of a literary "filler" for the biography of the latter.
 
Therefore, the present paper has sought to settle that confusion and to give back each of the two Lombard artists their due. Moreover, since the research on autograph works of Polidoro was not exhausted with the above-mentioned book, but rather the publication of the book became a further incentive to the research, I thought it opportune to reconsider some aspects of Poliodoro's art, taking as a starting point his important unpublished work, the Death of Procris, and to add to it, in the same respect, the two panels with St. Andrew and St. Thaddeus - probably parts of a dismembered "apostolado", painted at the time when the artist was in Messina - as well as two "putti-caryatids against landscape background", stylistically still dominated by classicizing traits of Raphaellesque etymology. 
 
STEFANIA MASON - Da una costola di Palma il Giovane: il disegnatore misterioso (pp. 115—129)
From the Rib of Palma il Giovane: a Mysterious Draughtsman
 
The article faces the problem of a group of drawings attributed to Palma il Giovane in Erika and Hans Tietze's catalogue (1944); some other sheets, whose autography was never challenged in the studies, were added later to that group. All these studies, belonging to the collections of drawings of the Louvre, the British Museum, the Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, show an extremely bold pen line and strong contrasts of light and shadow in the use of wash; with a technique unrelated to Palma il Giovane. On the basis of a drawing in the Scholz collection, preliminary for a canvas by Alessandro Maganza for the Vicenza cathedral, the article proposes to attribute the whole series of sheets to the painter from Vicenza, in an early phase of his career. 
 
BERT W. MEIJER - Per Pietro Damini disegnatore (pp. 131—147)
Pietro Damini as a Draughtsman
 
Pietro Damini (Castelfranco Veneto 1592 - Padua 1631) was active mainly in the city Padua but he left also some works in the churches of the Paduan province - in Chioggia, Treviso, in his native Castelfranco Veneto, in Asolo, Vicenza, in Venice and its vicinity, in the Bergamese region, in Friuli and in Crema. His work was predominantly of religious character but he did also some excursions into the area of official portraiture and portraiture tout court. From the point of view of style, he certainly moves away from the direction Tintoretto-Palma Giovane, and tends rather towards Paolo Veronese, Tiziano (among the artists of the 16th century), to whom can be added maybe also the Carracci, and - among the models of the following century from the area between Padua and Venice - certainly Alessandro Varotari called il Padovanino. 
 
The exhibition of 1993 dedicated to the artist in the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua, the city where and for which, starting from 1612, he produced most of his paintings, showed the majority of his acknowledged drawings, or, to be more precise, five compositional drawings, four of which can be linked with extant paintings. The catalogue cited also a sixth leaf which was another version of one drawing of the four previously mentioned. So, the group of drawings is very small, especially if we realize that they come from a period of over twenty years of artistic activity. Nevertheless, there is no doubt that drawing played an important role in the work of the artist, as those few extant leaves allow us only to guess. 
 
MARCEL G. ROETHLISBERGER - Liotard's Sleeping Venus after Titian (pp. 149—154)

A lifelong collector of old master paintings, Liotard owned from an unknown source what he treasured as a fine Venus by Titian, first recorded in 1756, sold in Paris in 1788, hence lost. No exact model is known. A late 18th-century engraving by Romanet is almost certainly after this work. Vanderlyn's Ariadne Asleep, painted in Paris c. 1810, offers a comparable composition. Liotard copied the Titian twice in pastel , probably in the 1760s, and in 1781 made his largest mezzotint after it for his treatise, where he praised it in the chapter on Grace. Another among his rare classical themes is the Callipygous Venus of 1774, which he copied in pastel in London after a plaster cast and likewise turned into a mezzotint. 

MARZIA FAIETTI - Rebus d'artista. Agostino Carracci e "La carta dell'ogni cosa vince l'oro" (pp. 155—171)
The Rebus of an Artist. Agostino Carracci and "La carta dell'ogni cosa vince l'oro"
 
At its broadest, this essay is designed to stress the importance of prints to the artists of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries and the particular role of erotic engravings. These can be (and were) understood as making up a kind of sample-book, perhaps the very richest, for figural poses. Taken as a group, they became almost a manual of the body and of its capacity for complicated movement, one moreover soundly based on the study of the Antique and of the most celebrated masters of the early Cinquecento.
 
To illustrate the point, attention is here focused on a single engraving: Agostino Carracci's Ogni cosa vince l'oro, probably executed in the 1580s. The sources for its specific motifs (Caraglio and Parmigianino) are identified, not least to distinguish them from the stylistic inspirations that the print declares (Tintoretto and Veronese). The literary source (Ovid) is equally important. By considering this range of source material, differently employed, we begin to understand the complex nature of Agostino's interpretation of this theme, and especially the way in which he melded the intellectual game of the rebus to parody. We see the way in which he denied the canonical myth of venal love - Danae - to re-set his scene in a much less elevated, more recognisably domestic context. This print can therefore be interpreted as a statement of the engraver's artistic freedom and his open-mindedness in Cardinal Gabriele Paleotti's Counter-Reformation Bologna.
 
The "carta dell'ogni cosa vince l'oro" could not pass unnoticed in the Rome of Clement VIII, probably for very similar reasons. Caravaggio, for example, clearly appreciated how Agostino's translation of existing images to place them within new iconographic contexts was accompanied by metamorphoses of meaning, the manner in which something might unexpectedly come to signify the exact opposite, and he seems to have admired the intriguing shifts between messages that were decipherable and those which remained coded. Caravaggio's painting in Berlin, the Amore vincitore shows how he was engaged by Agostino's Ogni cosa vince l'oro, above all by the riddle of the rebus and by the deliberate re-setting of a literary source into a crude reality of ordinary life. 
 
PIERRE ROSENBERG - Ni Bencovitch, ni Restout mais Chantereau (pp. 173—178)
Neither Bencovitch, nor Restout but Chantereau
 
The Prado Museum owns four high-quality drawings with until now have been attributed to a Venetian artist of Dalmatian origin, Federico Bencovitch. Those académies masculines were published in 1994-1995 as by a French painter, Jean Restout. In fact, they, they were drawn by French "little master" of the first half of the 18th century, Jérôme-François Chantereau. This artist, mainly known for his drawings, deserves certainly a more detailed study of his æuvre
GIUSEPPINA DAL CANTON - Le chevalier mystique di Odilon Redon: slittamenti e incroci iconografici (pp. 179—198)
Odilon Redon's Le chevalier mystique: Iconographical Drifts and Hybrids
 
Le chevalier mystique, a work of peculiar interest for both technical (charcoal and pastel) and iconographical reasons, is a summa of typical themes of Redon's world. The way in which they are crossed and put together is, from many points of view, a real puzzle.
 
This essay makes many iconographical comparisons with other works by the same artist, and with those which might have been his sources, in order to support the theory that Le chevalier mystique, at first conceived as Œdipe le sphinx, may have been modified more or less at the beginning of the 1890s, when Redon's art was influenced by his interest for Wagnerian themes and by the current revival of esotericism. The artist's imaginative associations and drifts, which lead to apparently inconsistent iconographical hybrids, turn the mythical Greek hero struggling against his destiny - and, according to Freud, with the unknown part of himself, the Unconscious - into the mystical knight: symbol, like Parsifal, of man, eternally torn between reality and ideal, but also of the initiate, tireless in his quest of spiritual elevation. 
FRANCO BERNABEI - Il Bassano di Sergio Bettini (pp. 199—211)
The Bassano by Sergio Bettini
 
The purpose of this essay is to reconstruct an aspect of Jacopo Bassano's critical fortune. Bassano is a painter whom Roger Rearick has studied all his life, with great dedication and remarkable success. During the 1930s Bassano was the object of important studies in Italy, among which excels a book written by Sergio Bettini, which is the focus of the present essay.
 
Bettini's work helps us not only to reconstruct Bassano's personality, but also to highlight the relationship between artistic personality and historical background - a prominent concern in the idealistic and formalistic debates of the time. This essay also takes into account the role of Venetian painting, as its specific colouristic qualities - albeit differently expressed by its various representatives - were instrumental in the development of Italian and European painting. This issue became vital in the 1930s and was probed in light of a better definition of the relationship between national tradition and modernity, the avant-garde and the return to order.