The author recognizes a beautifully carved and intricately designed Acquasantiera in a private collection in London to be the work of the Sienese sculptor, Antonio Federighi (c. 1420—1483).
A Note on a Drawing of Saint Roch by Lorenzo Lotto
Leading grand processions through the towns of northern Italy in the late fifteenth century, the Franciscan friar Bernardino da Feltre brandished a banner emblazoned with the image of the Man of Sorrows, often called the Imago pietatis. His remarkable dual objective was to found and finance a civic lending bank or Monte di Pietà to help the working poor. Nowadays the designation "Monte di Pietà" seemingly embraces a tension: banking on the one hand and the redemptive body of Christ on the other. Or to put it differently, the need for capital in this world and the promise of Christian salvation in the next. Our article seeks to explain the apparent paradox of the Man of Sorrows as a fitting symbol for the Monte and to clarify Bernardino's role in adopting the image as an organizational logo. We explore these questions in the light of the history of the Man of Sorrows in the Veneto during the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and against the political strategies of the Observant Friars generally and Bernardino in particular.
The art of medal making was late in coming to Poland, only making an appearance in 1520. In that year a small medal was cast in silver to mark the birth of Zygmunt August, the first-born son of King Zygmunt I and his second wife, Bona Sforza of Aragon. The medal was an extraordinary piece of work also because of the fact that there was no artist in Cracow at that time who was able to make small moulds for cast medals. Therefore, in 1526 the chancellor, Krzysztof Szydłowiecki, invited Hans Schwarz, a German sculptor and medallist to come to Poland. He cast a one-sided medal of the chancellor in bronze. In the years 1526—1527 Schwarz also worked for King Zygmunt I, proof of which are the surviving five or six medals with a bust of the King. At least one of them was cast in gold, a copy of which Seweryn Boner, a banker and adviser to the monarch, sent as a gift to Erasmus of Rotterdam.
This essay will identify the blond young woman (the "gypsy" mentioned in the Vendramin sources) and the well-dressed young man in Giorgione's Tempesta with Poverty and Wealth (Poenia and Poros) in Diotima's story of the generation of Eros (Symposium 203). In his treatise De Iside et Osiride Plutarch later linked the couple with Plato's female and male generative principles of creation (Timaeus 49—50). In the Christian Platonic tradition Saints Basil and Ambrose assimilated the Timaean principles to the Creator acting on created prime matter; Eusebius of Caesarea interpreted Diotima's story in terms of the first parents, Adam and Eve. As depicted by Giorgione, this complex cluster of philosophical myth provided an aition for the role of the Venetian patriciate in the founding of Venice ab aeterno: noble and wealthy forefathers confronting the necessity of the place where they chose to live. In the face of critical Italian views concerning Venice and the patriciate the Platonic myth provided an apology for their commercial occupations and energetic pursuit of wealth, and furthermore a mandate for patrician rule in Venice and perhaps even in the terraferma. As a member of the nobility the collector Gabriele Vendramin shared in the general benefits of this politic representation of his class. His possession of a fascinating painting on a very well known classical text whose representation was at the same time not immediately transparent to all visitors could have provided him with some additional measure of personal gratification.
Guido Reni's early biographer Count Carlo Cesare Malvasia mentions a large painting of the myth of Latona that the artist had been commissioned to paint for King Philip IV of Spain, but left incomplete at the time of his death. I argue that the canvas Malvasia describes is identical with an unfinished painting of the same subject now in a private collection in Atlanta, Georgia. This article documents the attribution and provenance of the painting, as well as its recent conservation, which has yielded important technical insights. The Spanish monarch commissioned the Latona to make amends for his Roman ambassador's hasty rejection of a previously commissioned work by Reni, the famous Abduction of Helen (Paris, Musée du Louvre), which subsequently met with extraordinary critical acclaim. I further argue that the moral argument of Reni's Latona is closely akin to that of the Helen, and, similarly selected with the advice of the papal court, was probably meant to serve as a diplomatic metaphor pertinent to ongoing political negotiations between Rome and Madrid.