Artibus et Historiae no. 59 (XXX), 2009
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
 
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Contents
JERZY GADOMSKI - Jerzy Żarnecki (George Zarnecki) 12.9.1915—8.9.2008 (pp. 9—14)

Jerzy Żarnecki started his academic career in the 1930s at the Jagiellonian University in Cracow. During the Second World War he made his way to England, became a British citizen, George Zarnecki, and held there many prestigious, both administrative and academic posts. He made Romanesque art, especially English sculpture of the period, the main subject of his research, one on which he became a world authority.

Żarnecki was born on 12 September 1915 in Stara Osota on the former Polish eastern borderlands, the son of Zygmunt Żarnecki, civil engineer, and his wife Julia (née Wolszczan). After Poland had regained its independence in 1918, the family settled in Poland as did many other refugees. In the 1930s Jerzy, took up studies at the then Department of Art History of the Jagiellonian University, where on 1 November 1937 he was appointed junior assistant, a post, which he occupied till the outbreak of the War. On 24 June 1938 he received his MA in art history, having submitted a thesis entitled: The Wall-paintings in the Holy Cross Chapel at the Cathedral on Wawel Hill (1470). It was already at that time that he developed his interest in medieval art on which, as well as on early modern art, he then published several articles .
Called up as a reservist, he left Cracow in the first days of September 1939, and after having fought in the Polish defence campaign he made his way to Bucharest, from where he proceeded to France via Italy. There he underwent military training with the Polish Army and fought on the French front in 1940. Further fights in Alsace brought him the French Croix de Guerre and the Polish Cross of Valour for exceptional service. After the fall of France he was captured by the Germans and spent two years as a prisoner of war. Repeated attempts to escape (two of which ended in his recapture) finally succeeded in 1942. With the help of forged documents of a French national he passed through the south of France and crossed the Pyrenees. All he could offer the local Spaniards who had helped him to cross the mountains by night was a fountain pen, his last valuable possession. He was interned in Spain and spent over a year there but finally, in 1943 he managed to reach England through Portugal. In London, while still in the army holding the rank of corporal, he joined a group of art historians — his colleagues from Cracow: Dr Karol Estreicher and Dr Anna Maria Mars — who were compiling an index of cultural losses sustained by Poland as a result of the Nazi occupation .
The marriage with Anne Leslie Frith (1945) and contacts with the London scholarly circles he had established, and perhaps also the political situation in his homeland, must have prompted Żarnecki's decision to stay in England and to settle there permanently. Right from the beginning he joined the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. He also met a pre-war German émigré, Fritz Saxl, an "iconologist" from the circle of Aby Warburg, connected with the London Library of the Warburg Institute. In 1949 Żarnecki became the librarian of the Courtauld Institute's Conway Library where he managed a remarkable collection of photographs of architecture and sculpture. The holdings of the library were substantially enlarged thanks to the photographic campaigns in Europe he undertook together with his friend Peter Lasko, a fellow medievalist. The experience he had gained then was of crucial importance for his subsequent research, which from the late 1940s started to bear fruit in the form of several publications on English Romanesque sculpture. At the same time Żarnecki did not forget about his alma mater and in July 1949 he donated several boxes of photographs of European works of art to the Department of Art History in Cracow.
Encouraged by Fritz Saxl (d. 1948), Żarnecki for several years had assembled materials for his doctoral dissertation. He received his PhD from the Courtauld Institute in 1950, having presented a dissertation on Regional Schools in English Sculpture in the Twelfth Century. The 1950s were filled with work at Conway Library (till 1959) and further intensive research mostly on English Romanesque sculpture. It was then that the foundations had been laid for his future position as a leading authority in the field.
Between 1959 and 1961 he was Reader at the University of London and in 1960/1961 held the Slade Professorship of Fine Arts at Oxford. In 1961 he became the deputy director of the Courtauld Institute. He was made Professor of Art History at the University of London in 1963 and in 1966 became a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
At that time he belonged to several learned societies. He was actively involved with the British Society of Master Glass Painters, the conservation committee of the Council for Places of Worship and the Royal Commission for Historical Monuments. Apart from that, Żarnecki was a fellow of the prestigious Society of Antiquaries, of which he had been vice-president for some time, and which awarded him Gold Medal in 1986, while also an honorary member of the Royal Archaeological Institute. Yet the greatest honours were still to come: in 1968 he became Fellow of the British Academy and in 1970 he was made Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
The end of his official relationship with Sir Anthony Blunt, whom he met already in 1944, was traumatic. Blunt had been Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures at Buckingham Palace and later became director of the Courtauld Institute. Żarnecki, who had been connected to the Institute since 1945, succeeded Johannes Wilde as deputy director at the Courtauld in 1961 (a position he held till 1974) and served as Blunt's right-hand man. According to Peter Kidson, it was Żarnecki who in fact carried the main administrative burden of running the Institute on Blunt's behalf and who was responsible for all its activities. Żarnecki's friendship with Blunt was abruptly broken in 1979, when it was revealed that Blunt, together with Kim Philby, Guy Burgess and Donald Maclean, had been Soviet spies. Though profoundly shocked by the fact, Żarnecki had remained the Institute's mainstay during this crisis and in the opinion of the London circles, he had "cleared" Courtauld "after Blunt": it was only through his efforts and thanks to the authority of its former deputy director that the Institute survived the scandal and retained its prestige. Żarnecki left Courtauld in 1982 and in 1986 had become Honorary Fellow of the Institute.
All the while Żarnecki was active internationally, both in Europe and in America. He visited many foreign research institutions, reviewed the most important exhibitions and participated in the International Congresses of Art History (CIHA) — in Amsterdam (1952) and in New York (1961). Żarnecki visited Poland several times, e.g. in September of 1976, when with a group of Polish medievalists he made a tour of historic Romanesque buildings of Lesser Poland. In October 1977 he held lectures and seminars at the Art History Institute of the Jagiellonian University, and in December 1980 took part in a conference and social meetings organised on the occasion of the 60th birthday of Professor Lech Kalinowski, with whom Żarnecki had been regularly in touch. On 13 June 1992 he was made foreign member of the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences (PAU).
Though in 1982 he retired from his professorship at Courtauld, he did not stop his research activities. One of his most important undertakings at that time was the important Arts Council of Great Britain exhibition, English Romanesque Art 1066—1200, held at the Hayward Gallery (5 April—8 July 1984), of whose organising committee he was a chairman. The show was in fact a summing up of Żarnecki's lifetime of research on the Romanesque. Then, in 1987, together with Neil Stratford of the British Museum (Department of Medieval and Later Antiquities) and under the auspices of the British Academy, he initiated the long-envisaged corpus of Romanesque stone sculpture in Britain and Ireland (British Academy's Corpus of Romanesque Sculpture in Britain and Ireland, CRSBI). After the proposal had been approved by the Academy in May 1988, he became a member of the CRSBI scholarly committee, whereas Peter Lasko took lead of the project as its chair.
On the occasion of his 70th birthday, Żarnecki's friends and students offered him a two-volume Festschrift, which also comprised a bibliography of his works . In his social milieu, Żarnecki was held in high esteem not only as an outstanding scholar and teacher but as someone who was also well liked, a friendly, open-minded person, often described as "generous", "charming", "charismatic" and "witty". When on 15 September 2005 the Courtauld celebrated his 90th birthday (in the presence of many of his old-time colleagues, friends and young art historians from Poland, whose doctoral dissertations he supervised), he was honoured — in Professor Paul Crossley's words — as "one of the most generous, influential and beloved figures in the history of the Institute".
George Zarnecki died four days before his 93rd birthday, on 8 September 2008, leaving a wife, daughter and son. London bid him farewell in a mourning ceremony on 22 September 2008.
 
* * *
 
Żarnecki started his research and scholarly activity already in Cracow. His early papers, written by him while still a student, dealt with Gothic wooden sculptures in Brzeziny and Nowy Korczyn . In his contribution to a monograph of the Cracow Observant Franciscans church, he concentrated on its historic furnishings . His main area of interest, however, had been the woodcarvings of Lesser Poland. In the course of the fieldwork he undertook, there appeared new discoveries, the results of which he published either still before the War or shortly after its end . He also authored a little booklet on historic artworks in Wiślica .
Żarnecki's wartime experiences and his life in England afterwards completely changed his scholarly orientation. Even while in London he had published several works on Polish art but at the same time, being a medievalist and having decided to settle in England, he started the research on the art of the Island, its early "history written in stone": English Romanesque architectural sculpture. It was that choice, done shortly after the war, that determined the main subject of his research, carried until his very last years.
As "by-products" of his dissertation, supervised by Fritz Saxl, there arose articles on sculptures of the Romanesque Reading Abbey, close to London, in which he demonstrated that the iconographic formula of the Coronation of the Virgin, carved on one of the abbey's capitals around 1130, predated analogous examples from France. His doctoral dissertation on regional schools of English sculpture in the 12th century remained unpublished in its original form but its chronologically enlarged and altered version was used in two separate volumes, published in 1951 and 1953. The revealing character of his research could be seen already in those two concise syntheses, which were to serve generations of students as classic textbooks.
Over the next forty years, Żarnecki had written numerous books, research papers, articles and chapters in collective works, introductions to and entries in exhibition catalogues, booklets and reviews, dealing with English Romanesque sculpture. Among the most important of them were the sumptuously published monographs of the sculpture of Ely (1958) and Lincoln cathedrals (1963, 1970, 1988). He also embarked on detailed studies, both on individual sculptures and their ensembles at Chichester, Minster-in-Sheppey, York, Worcester, Canterbury, and Colchester — to mention but a few , and dealt with English metal doorknockers, sculpture in lead and other areas of Romanesque art . More often than not, these are fairly short pieces because the author's style is concise and pithy. The forty-two most important studies were later united into two volumes of his collected essays, published in 1979 and 1992 .
In specialists' opinion Żarnecki not only insightfully defined the character of English Romanesque sculpture but his most revealing achievement was to explain the changes that occurred in English art shortly before and right after the Norman conquest in 1066. The first time he expressed his views on that problem was in publications based on his doctoral dissertation (and his fresh, renewing "external" look changed the hitherto accepted opinions), and he developed them in his later research. Though he had illustrious predecessors in "his" field (e.g. D. Talbot Rice, T. S. R. Boase, F. Saxl), Żarnecki's work was considered pioneering.
He had questioned the generally accepted view which held that it was the Norman conquest that introduced "foreign", Romance influences to Anglo-Saxon sculpture, thus putting an end to the old style. Żarnecki, however, contended that "already around 1050 English painters were heading towards the Romanesque, with no relation to Normandy whatsoever", and proved that the old artistic traditions, developed in the so-called Winchester School and strengthened by the Scandinavian animal style, survived the Norman conquest and inspired the flourishing of sculpture in Norman times. Anglo-Saxon art did not "die an heroic death at Hastings" but it survived the conquest and joined in the remarkable development of Romanesque sculpture, up until its mature forms of the 12th century. What is more, it even influenced the art of Normandy and other areas in northern France. We can quote here Neil Stratford, who said about Żarnecki that "he has quite literally rewritten a whole chapter of England's artistic history, taking the sculpture and 'minor arts' of the Norman period and placing them firmly in the wider spectrum of European Romanesque".
Żarnecki was as well acquainted with this European "context" for English art as he was with Romanesque England itself. His trips to the Continent resulted in numerous studies — on French sculpture, e.g. Gislebertus and Claus Sluter, and on Scandinavian, Swiss, Spanish, Italian, German and Polish art . In several dozens of his reviews of publications and exhibitions he took his own stand on various areas of European art: architecture, architectural and free-standing sculpture, wall-painting, stained glass and manuscript illumination, as well as artistic handicrafts.
It would not be easy to draw up a full list of Żarnecki's interests, as they reached far beyond the Latin world , nor of his preferred artistic genres. This broadness of horizons, spanning various areas of art and various regions of Europe, was united by a common research method: examining a particular work of art in relation to the output of other artistic milieus. This quality gives Żarnecki's research a supra-regional dimension. His early association with the Warburg Institute and Fritz Saxl (as well as his later close friendship with Ernst Gombrich) did not influence his research methods. Although he has left several iconographic studies , it was the stylistic features of a work of art, its genetic relationships and the migration of forms between various artistic milieus that have remained the main focus of his scholarly interest.
On the basis of his analytical reflections Żarnecki founded studies dealing with more detailed problems. He devoted special attention to the art of medieval monasteries (1972) ; in independent articles and contributions to collective works he analysed whole epochs and particular areas in medieval art ; he investigated far-reaching phenomena and stylistic transformations. His Romanesque Art (1970) was translated into several languages, e.g. Japanese and Polish, whereas the Art of the Medieval World found its readers in China.
In England, a beautiful crowning of his lifetime of research was the organisation of the aforementioned, London exhibition of English Romanesque art (1984) and the texts he published in its catalogue. He was also deeply engaged in the realisation of his last great achievement: the corpus of Romanesque sculpture in Great Britain and Ireland. First, he introduced its programme to wider audience, and then reviewed the resulting volumes.
The sixty-five years spent in England had made Żarnecki a scholar devoted to the artistic history of his foster fatherland. Yet, till the very end he had preserved the deep consciousness of his national roots, which manifested itself in regular contacts with fellow medievalists in Poland and the numerous gifts he sent to the library of the Art History Institute of the Jagiellonian University. In whatever way he felt this bond, Jerzy Żarnecki was an outstanding art historian; he was, too, a great man.

 

KIM E. BUTLER - Giovanni Santi, Raphael, and Quattrocento Sculpture (pp. 15—39)

This essay addresses the renewed controversy regarding Raphael Santi's initial training and introduces substantive evidence in support of the hypothesis that he received his first training from his father Giovanni Santi in Urbino. In addition to documentary and formal evidence, the young artist's strong attachment to his father's artistic practice on a more conceptional level is explored. Interests, including the use of geometric compositional formulas, witty devotional concetti, and above all his intense preoccupation with returning to the specific sources that engaged Giovanni Santi — for instance Quattrocento sculpture, first known through his father's inexact copies and subsequently through direct study of the sculptures themselves — illuminate the formal and intellectual foundations of Raphael's art. 

ARNOLD VICTOR COONIN - The Most Elusive Woman in Renaissance Art: A Portrait of Marietta Strozzi (pp. 41—64)

Before his death in 1464, the Florentine sculptor Desiderio da Settignano allegedly carved a marble portrait bust of Marietta Strozzi, considered the most beautiful woman in Renaissance Florence. Contemporary sources consistently praise this work as one of the most admired portrait sculptures of the age and its identification has vexed the modern scholar, eager to locate it among the various extant examples of the genre. Not surprisingly, almost every Tuscan portrait bust of a woman datable to the mid-fifteenth century has been attributed to Desiderio at one time or another, usually with the claim of being Marietta's lost image. Predictably, when authentic candidates have been unavailable, fakes have arisen to take their place.

Part one of this paper investigates the sitter of this famous portrait bust, Marietta Strozzi, and freshly examines her extraordinary life and reputation in Florence. Part two begins with a contextual examination of the female portrait bust in the fifteenth century and concludes with an overview of the extant examples once purported to be Desiderio's sculpture of Marietta Strozzi. Former and current attributions of these female portrait busts include ascriptions to prominent sculptors such as Antonio Rossellino, Andrea del Verrocchio, Mino da Fiesole, Matteo Civitali, Pasquino da Montepulciano, Gregorio di Lorenzo and the infamous forger, Giovanni Bastianini. The whole chronicles a long-running quest of scholarship and connoisseurship attempting to rediscover the most elusive woman in Italian Renaissance Art. 
DAVID ROSAND - Titian Draws Himself (pp. 65—71)

The purpose of this note is to introduce a drawing of great interest and resonance, a profile portrait of Titian, and to suggest that it is indeed the work of the master himself. The drawing is clearly related to the profile self-portrait in the Prado, although in reverse, facing to the right. It had been tentatively ascribed to Giuseppe Porta, but that attribution has not proved convincing. Not surprisingly, the small corpus of accepted drawings by Titian offers no ready comparison, and the attribution of the portrait must be argued on the basis of its quality and the intimate mechanics of its creation. It is hoped that relocating this self-portrait into the small corpus of Titian drawings will serve not only to invite further critical attention to an important work but also, potentially, to expand the boundaries of the corpus itself.

JAN L. DE JONG - Dido in Italian Renaissance Art. The Afterlife of a Tragic Heroine (pp. 73—89)

This article is a study of some Italian paintings and prints from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries illustrating Virgil's story of the suicide of Dido, Queen of Carthage and lover of Aeneas. The theme of Dido's voluntary death was problematic, as suicide was condemned by the Church. Moreover, contrary to such Roman heroines as Lucretia, Dido did not take her life to save her virtuous reputation, but because her status had been ruined since her lover Aeneas had decided to leave her. A distinction is made between depictions showing Dido and Aeneas together, and pictures showing her alone. In the former case, Dido personifies the seductions of love and lust, that keep men (Aeneas) from pursuing their quest for a higher destination. In the latter case, Dido is represented as a warning example showing the dramatic consequences of a woman's irresponsible behaviour.

ELLEN L. LONGSWORTH - Stylistic and Iconographic Considerations: The Lamentation in the Church of Santo Sepolcro, Milan (pp. 91—114)

A cult specific to Mary Magdalene had existed at the Milanese church of Santo Sepolcro from at least the end of the thirteenth century. The remains of two frescoes, datable to about 1280—1300 and located at the western end of the crypt of the church, confirm the presence there of an altar devoted to her. In the space once reserved as an oratory encompassing the ancient altar is a life-size terracotta and polychrome Lamentation that includes a particularly evocative representation of the Magdalene. Although the sculptures are undocumented and the identity of the artist or workshop responsible for them is the subject of speculation, the establishment at Santo Sepolcro in 1527 of a confraternity which met in the crypt, its membership exclusively women devoted to Mary Magdalene, is suggestive regarding the commissioning and dating of the sculptures.

This study considers the relationship between these sculptures, their site, and the commission presumed for them, while it searches for an explanation of their style and for a probable date of execution. 
MARY VACCARO - Correggio and Parmigianino: On the Place of Rome in the Historiography of Sixteenth-Century Parmese Drawing (pp. 115—124)

This paper intends briefly to review the historiography of Parmese sixteenth-century drawing in order to interrogate assumptions about disegno and colorito, about center and periphery, about an accepted canon and its exclusions. Although the debate over disegno and colorito has traditionally been seen almost exclusively in terms of Central Italy and Venice, a consideration of Vasari's respective biographies of Correggio and Parmigianino shifts the focus to Parma, at once extending the discourse and testing the underlying premises of Vasari's historical model. Particular attention will be paid to Vasari's critique of Correggio and his putative failure to visit Rome. Parmigianino's Roman sojourn is documented, and his drawings have been continuously prized and collected from his own day until the present. Correggio was accorded his due recognition and acclaim in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when active interest in collecting his designs, although comparatively few sheets survive, began. The question of his trip to Rome functions as a topos in the debate over his graphic prowess, culminating with Padre Sebastiano Resta, the great champion of Correggio's drawings, who insisted that the artist had taken not one, but two, trips to the Eternal City.

EDWARD GRASMAN - On Closer Inspection — the Interrogation of Paolo Veronese (pp. 125—134)

In the present article, the author discusses a famous topic: the interrogation of Paolo Veronese by the tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Venice on July 18, 1573. Notwithstanding publications by such outstanding art historians as Philipp Fehl, Michelangelo Muraro, André Chastel and Paul Kaplan, our knowledge of the context in which this interrogation should be situated, is still rather rudimentary.

This article develops an argument that leads to an explanation of why Veronese had to appear before the Inquisition, focusing on two protagonists of the tribunal: the inquisitor and the nuncio. The author comes to the conclusion that the dynamics in the proceedings had very little to do with Veronese but everything with internal ecclesiastical politics, which goes a long way to explain why Tintoretto, who ran into trouble because of his paintings only weeks after the interrogation of Veronese, did not have to appear before the Inquisition.

MAURIZIO MARINI - Senso e trascendenza nella Madonna de'Parafrenieri del Caravaggio (pp. 135—144)

The Meaning and Transcendence in Caravaggio's Madonna de'Parafrenieri [The Grooms' Madonna]

 
The so-called Madonna dei Palafrenieri di Palazzo is one of the key works in the mature artistic production of Caravaggio and obviously was the most prestigious of his Roman commissions. In point of fact, the painting, known also as Madonna del serpe, was to be placed over the altar of the Confraternity, which commissioned it, in the renovated St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican. Today this place is decorated with a mosaic depicting Archangel Michael, based on Guido Reni's altar painting at the church of Santa Maria della Concezione in Rome.
However, for unclear reasons Caravaggio's masterpiece had been rejected by the Sacred College of Cardinals and was handed over by the Parafrenieri to the Cardinal Nephew Scipione Borghese. In this way the canvas found itself in the Villa Borghese in Rome, where it can be seen today. There the cardinal had assembled his vast art collection. An avid art collector and a powerful person, he could have made use of his position as Plenipotentiary of Justice to quickly proclaim the painter subject to a pena capitale (which meant price on his head), and thus this could have been the last painting of Caravaggio. The artist was guilty of murdering Ranuccio Tomassoni of Terni in an alleged duel. Such was the outcome of a quarrel that took place at the pallacorda, or tennis court (with four men on each side), in a space still extant at Campo Marzio.
A picture painted by an assassin could not have been exhibited on an altar in the greatest church of Christianity. In the author's opinion, that is the very reason, and a not very improbable one, why the painting had been rejected. For the cardinal (due to his own sentence, condemning Caravaggio to death), it could have also been the last work done by the artist in whom he had became interested in those years (1605—1606) and whom he commissioned to paint an official portrait of his uncle pontiff (Paul V), to be later joined by the Saint Jerome Writing.
There could not have been any other reasons, since the charges against an unorthodox iconography of the painting: the "Immaculate Conception Corredentrix" in the presence of her mother, St. Anne, the patron saint of the Confraternity, are fully unfounded. This iconography had not been codified yet. Besides, equally ungrounded were accusations addressed at the painter's choice of "Lena, who is a woman of Michelangelo [Caravaggio]" as a model for Madonna. Caravaggio had already used her before, in the Madonna of the Pilgrims (Rome, Sant'Agostino) and the strict ecclesiastical commissions had nothing to object to the statuary beauty of the Mother of God, even if in the painting for St. Peter's Lena appears in radiant beauty, full of maternal carnality. Here, there was nothing to object to, unlike in the case of the Death of the Virgin (now in Louvre), painted for the church of Santa Maria della Scala and also rejected, for moral reasons. Nevertheless, it is obvious that at the base of both rejections lay, above all, the stains of blood "at the Pallacorda, in Campo Marzio" and the ensuing, eventful escape of the badly wounded Caravaggio from Rome. Lena (most probably Elena) was the person unwittingly and indirectly reputed guilty of rejection of the St. Peter's painting. The girl was courted by the notary, Mariano Pasqualone, who perhaps also had to square accounts with Caravaggio, as the painter had attacked him with a sword shortly before, in via della Scrofa. The motif is precisely known: it was Lena about whom the criminal records do not say anything but that she had connexions with the painter and that she lived with her mother "at the foot of Piazza Navona" ["in piedi a Piazza Navona"], that is to say, at the end of the square, in a house which belonged to the Consistorial advocate Sertorio Teofili (who never received any courtesans, and Lena has many times been reputed to be one).
This place has never been indicated as such by scholars. The present explanation was made possible thanks to a happy discovery of a plan of the city showing the real property in the course of being purchased by the Pamphilj family, with the intention of erecting there, on an area occupied by many smaller edifices, a palace for the family of the newly elected pope Innocent X. On that plan (preserved in the Doria Pamphilj Archives in Rome) are clearly indicated many earlier buildings, among which also that of Sertorio Teofili, which is the reason why his house, being the home of Lena, has never been identified. The "agonal lane" which sheltered the entrance to the residence, passing from Piazza Navona to the lateral Piazza di Pasquino and Via Santa Maria dell'Anima, does not exist any more, since it had been incorporated into the complex of buildings, which nowadays are housing the Gallery of Palazzo Pamphilj, frescoed by Pietro Da Cortona.
JEAN-FRANÇOIS CORPATAUX - Phryné, Vénus et Galatée dans l'atelier de Jean-Léon Gérôme (pp. 145—158)

Phryne, Venus and Galatea in the Studio of Jean-Léon Gérôme

 

The article explores the importance of different art media in Jean-Léon Gérôme's work by interrogating the connections between painting, sculpture and photography, particularly with regard to their iconographic implications.

We begin our analysis with Phryné devant l'Aréopage (1861). Théophile Gautier said that the central figure of this painting resembled a "living statue". This paradigmatic commentary will accompany us throughout the analysis of the painting, as we seek to understand Gérôme's compositional strategies. We will discover that the elements of photographic and sculptural imagery, which the artist integrates in his painting, are the keys for understanding the central figure.
The core of this study is devoted to Gérôme's paintings created around 1890, in which the interaction of different media reaches its peak. This allows the model to appear simultaneously "animated" and "petrified". As a result were created highly modern paintings, which bear strong similarity to photographs. Playing with different media allows the artist to reclaim the myth of Medusa and Pygmalion, as well as the legends of Phryne, in his "tableau vivant" as Venus. He gives these figures a renewed representation, thanks to the interchangeable models and the coalescence of myths.
BÉATRICE LOVIS - Les natures mortes de Paul Gauguin: une production picturale méconnue (pp. 159—178)

Paul Gauguin's Still Lifes: An Unknown Aspect of His Artistic Activity

 

Gauguin's first attempts at still-life painting, around 1875, followed the Dutch tradition, influenced mainly by Manet's palette. But he did take occasional liberties in depicting flowers with more fluid colour and dynamic backgrounds. From 1879 his style shows the influence of the Impressionists: Pissarro in the landscapes and Degas in the composition of his still-lifes. He was also open to the new trends which were developing among artists in Paris and applied them in his paintings, using still-lifes as his main means for testing them. He did not escape the contemporary fascination with Japonism, and even experimented briefly with Pointillism in Still Life with Horse's Head.
His stays in Britain between 1886 and 1890 correspond to an extremely rich and innovative period for him, in which still-lifes served for increasing experimentation. "Fête Gloanec" and Three Puppies reflect his preoccupations: rejection of perspective, use of areas of flat colour, and mixed styles. These pictures amount to an aesthetic manifesto; many of them are also imbued with strong symbolism, as in the Portrait of Meyer de Haan, which is a melancholic reflection on the fall of man.
In Still-Life with Japanese Print, frail blue flowers seem to come out of the head of the artist-martyr, a pure product of the painter's "restless imagination". Thus Gauguin showed that art is an "abstraction" through a genre which was reputed to lend itself with difficulty to anything other than mimesis. Although he moved away from still-life after 1890, Gauguin is one of the first artists to radically renew its role and the status of still-life at the end of the 19th century, well before the Fauvists and Cubists.
NATACHA PERNAC - Relire les nus de Luca Signorelli des années 1870 a nos jours (pp. 179—194)

Re-reading Luca Signorelli's Nudes: From the 1870s till Today

 

That the Nazarene painters have been influenced by the sublimity in Luca Signorelli's frescoes in the San Brizio chapel in Orvieto has already been established. Nevertheless, the significance of Signorelli's Arcadian vision in his disappeared masterpiece, The Court of Pan (formerly in Berlin), which features a coterie of youthful nudes, shepherds, and musicians gathered in a pastoral and nostalgic atmosphere, has been neglected. This study considers the display of The Court of Pan in Berlin and deals with the reception of nudity in Signorelli's works in the German context during the years 1850—1920, both in painting and photography. The overall approach of Signorelli's large artistic and critical audience at the turn of the 20th century reveals a new sexualized interpretation of his work. Understood as an ardent eulogist of beauty of the human body, Signorelli and his work played an important role in the birth of homoerotic and even feminist aesthetics. 
THOMAS DE WESSELOW - The Form and Imagery of the New Fresco in Siena's Palazzo Pubblico (pp. 195—217)

The so-called New Fresco, discovered in 1980 beneath a layer of plaster in the main hall of Siena's Palazzo Pubblico, is one of the most puzzling works in the canon of medieval art. The difficulties inherent in trying to comprehend an image that bears no inscription and no regular iconography are exacerbated by the fact that, ever since its discovery the New Fresco has been embroiled in the notorious dispute over the Guidoriccio fresco, which sits on the wall above.

This article, which considers the New Fresco in isolation from the Guidoriccio debate, aims to elucidate the painting's subject via three methods of study that have yet to be adequately explored. First, the implications of the form and imagery of the fresco are analysed independently of any contextual information, yielding the provisional conclusion that it represents a treaty between Siena and members of the local aristocracy. Secondly, the picture is compared with near-contemporary Italian images that employ similar pictorial strategies and address similar subjects, so as to elucidate the way in which the imagery operates. Thirdly, detailed topographical evidence is used to identify the town in the painting as Santa Fiora, the feudal seat of the famous Aldobrandeschi counts.
Concluding that the New Fresco should be renamed The Treaty with the House of Santa Fiora, the article ends with some brief reflections on the artist's ambitious attempt to represent his subject without obvious reference to the verbal culture in which 14th-century Siena was immersed.
ANNA OLSZEWSKA - Les miniatures encyclopédiques et l'iconographie des traités médicaux du XIVe siecle dans la Bibliotheque Jagellonne a Cracovie (ms 815 et ms 816) (pp. 219—228)

Encyclopedic Miniatures and Iconography in Two 14th-Century Medical Treatises at the Jagiellonian Library in Cracow (ms. 815 and ms. 816) 

 

The image of the universe fragmentized between cycles of historiated initials is a general subject linking the decorations of the vast family of scientific and philosophical texts copied into medieval manuscripts. The present article examines the process of adaptation of the encyclopedic miniature cycles in two richly decorated medical miscellanies of French origin, preserved at the Jagiellonian Library in Cracow.
The first codex is an example of the articella (Cracow, BJ, ms. 815), the second is usually described as the miscellany of texts by Isaack Judaeus (Cracow, BJ, ms. 816). Both manuscripts can be dated to the third decade of the 14th century. Except for the "university"{ scenes, such as a dispute between scholars, both volumes contain series of depictions based on contemporary encyclopedic cycles, like those represented in the miniatures from De proprietibus rerum by Bartholomaeus Anglicus (Autun, BM, ms. 32), Li livres dou santé d'Aldobrandino da Siena (Paris, Arsenal, ms. 2510; Paris, BnF, ms. fr. 12323; London, BL, ms. Sloane 2435) or Regimen Sanitatis (Vienna, ÖNB, Codex Vindobonensis S.N., 2644). In the present article a few motifs that appear in encyclopedic as well as in the medical miscellanies are distinguished: the figure of the philosopher who observes the universe, the four seasons, the labours of the months, everyday hygiene in correspondence with the temperaments, and the preparation of medicaments.
Careful analysis of the Cracow codices leads to some interesting conclusions. In the two medical miscellanies discussed here, common encyclopedic cycles have been incorporated into academic manuals - a type of book that is hardly ever illuminated. First of all, this testifies to the well-known practice of using traditional iconography whenever a new or extraordinary text was to be decorated. Second, it shows that in the course of their application, the iconographic motifs, like the labours of the months, the four seasons or the temperaments, were not repeated mechanically. Scenes depicted in the medical miscellanies are not images ad litteram, but rather fusions of elements taken from representations of natural phenomena (e.g. months, temperaments, seasons) and the medical subjects from the text which they accompany (e.g. fever, death etc.). Through this process, these medical treatises became a kind of visual commentary that stressed various connections between the theory of Gallenic medicine and the medieval model of the universe. This testifies to a certain level of philosophical reflection present in medieval cosmological miniatures.