Notes from the Italian Art Society,
promoting the study of the architecture and visual arts of Italy, from prehistory to the present day.

Lombard architect and sculptor Giovanni Antonio Amadeo died on this day in 1522 in Milan. He was in his 70s. Active in Bergamo, Cremona, Milan, and Pavia, Amadeo was a leading proponent of all’antica design and dominated late fifteenth-century Lombard architecture and sculpture. Among his celebrated works are his contributions to the splendid funerary chapel for Bartolomeo Colleoni in Bergamo, which had been begun by his teacher Francesco Solari and his brother Guiniforte. Amadeo undertook a number of projects for members of the Sforza family, including decoration for Milan Cathedral, the Certosa of Pavia, and the Ospedale Maggiore of Milan.

Reference: Richard Schofield and Janice Shell. “Amadeo, Giovanni Antonio.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T002214>.

(Source: commons.wikimedia.org, via italianartsociety)

#art #history #art history #italian art #amadeo #milan #pavia #bergamo #lombardy #architecture #sculpture #Renaissance #italian architecture #italy #16th century

Sicilian painter Pietro Novelli died on this day in 1647 in Palermo. Novelli trained with his father in Monreale and continued his studies in Palermo where he came to know the work of Dutch painter Anthony Van Dyck, who visited the city in 1624.  Novelli also traveled to Rome and Naples in the 1620s where he was exposed to Renaissance masters and Baroque contemporaries, including Giovanni Lanfranco and Jusepe de Ribera. Primarily a painter of religious scenes, Novelli is recognized today as Sicily’s most important artist of the seventeenth century.

Reference: Vincenzo Pacelli. “Novelli, Pietro.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.<http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T062922>.

Further reading: Pietro Novelli il Monrealese by Guido di Stefano (1989)

Cain and AbelGalleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica

David with the Head of Goliath, 1630s, Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 72.PA.16

Circle of Pietro Novelli, The Agony in the Garden, ca. 1640,  Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 94.GA.96

(Source: italianartsociety)

#art #history #art history #Pietro Novelli #Palermo #17th Century #Baroque Art #Christian art #religious art #Sicily

Titian died on this day in 1576 in Venice, Though his birthdate is unknown, he was in his late 80s or early 90s at his death. Today recognized as one of Venice’s most important artists, and as one of the most influential Renaissance painters, Titian was admired for his naturalism, color, and skill with the oil medium, which he used to great effect in his devotional works, portraits, and mythologies. Titian also inspired many painters of the Baroque period, including the Carracci, Rubens, and Velázquez. His influence lasted into the 19th century as artists like Joseph M.W. Turner continued to study the Renaissance master, and avant-garde artists like Édouard Manet reformulated some of his most famous compositions for a modern audience.

Reference: Cecil Gould. “Titian.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T085242>.

Further reading: Titian by Peter Humfrey (2007); Titian by Charles Hope, et al. (2004).

Self-Portrait, 1562-64, Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Pesaro Madonna, detail, 1519-26, S. Maria della Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice

Man with the Blue Sleeve (Gerolamo Barbarigo?), ca. 1510, National Gallery, London

Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap, ca. 1516, The Frick Collection, New York

Assumption of the Virgin, 1516-18, Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice

Crowning with Thorns, 1542, Musée du Louvre, Paris

Bacchus and Ariadne, 1520-22, National Gallery, London

Venus and Adonis, 1554, Museo del Prado, Madrid

Venus of Urbino (detail), before 1538, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

Flora, 1515-20, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

(via italianartsociety)

#titian #art #venice #renassiance #art history #16th century #italy

Chair of architecture at the University of Palermo, Ernesto Basile died on this day in 1932. Associated with the Stile Liberty — the Italian version of Art Nouveau — Basile’s designs appealed to upper-middle-class patrons in his home city. Though many of his buildings have been destroyed, a sense of his style can be found in private houses like the Villino Florio (1907-9) and Villa Basile (1903). One of his most important commissions was to expand the Parliament building in Rome, the Palazzo Montecitorio (1902-14), adding on to the original structure built by Gianlorenzo Bernini.

Reference: Helen M. Hills. “Basile.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T006710pg2>

Further reading: Ernesto Basile a Montecitorio (2002).

(Source: italianartsociety)

#art #history #art history #stile liberty #art nouveau #Ernesto Basile #SIcily #Palermo #20th Century #architectural history #Architecture

Architect Alessandro Galilei was born on this day in Florence in 1691. A descendant of the famous astronomer Galileo Galilei (d. 1642), Alessandro  served as engineer to the court of the Tuscan Grand Dukes Cosimo III (d. 1723) and Gian Gastone de’Medici (d. 1737). Galilei also drew attention from English travelers to Italy who invited him to London from 1714 to 1719 where he designed the facade and main block of Castletown House near Dublin (built by Edward Lovett Pearce after 1722). Among Galilei’s most prestigious projects were the Cappella Corsini (1732) and facade for St. John Lateran in Rome (1733-35) and the facade for S. Giovanni dei Fiorentini (1734) in the same city. Galilei was one of the most important early 18th-century architects and was a key player in the spread of Neoclassicism in Europe. He is honored with a wall monument at Santa Croce, Florence.

Reference: Elisabeth Kieven. “Galilei, Alessandro.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T030459>.

Further reading: 18th Century Italy by Christopher Storrs (2013).

(Source: italianartsociety)

#architecture #italy #Florence #Alessandro Galilei #Rome #18th Century

Bartolomeo Manfredi was baptized in the Lombard town of Ostiano on this day in 1582. One of the closest followers of Caravaggio, Manfredi is known for his faithful adoption of his mentor’s naturalism and tenebrism. He favored many of the same themes as his counterpart, including genre scenes and religious works, so much so that many of his works have been erroneously attributed to Caravaggio. Born near Mantua, Manfredi began his career in Milan, Cremona, and Brescia and moved to Rome around 1605, remaining there until his death at age 40 in Rome. Sadly, his Concert and Card Players were destroyed in the 1993 bombing of the Uffizi Gallery.

Reference: John J. Chvostal. “Manfredi, Bartolomeo.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. Web. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T053775>.

Further Reading: Caravaggisti by Didier Bodart; Caravaggio And His Legacy by J. Patrice Marandel (2012).

Bacchus and a Drinker, ca. 1600-10, Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, Rome.

Cupid Chastised. 1605-10, Art Institute, Chicago.

Gypsy Fortune Teller, 1616, Institute of Arts, Detroit.

Tribute Money, ca. 1610-20, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence.

(Source: italianartsociety)

#art #manfredi #Caravaggio #Caravaggisti #italy #Baroque Art #17th century #Uffizi

Andrea di Cione, known as Orcagna, died in Florence on or around 25 August 1368, when the Arte del Cambio (Moneychangers Guild) withdrew their commission to create a triptych dedicated to St. Matthew because of Andrea’s failing health and gave the project to his brother Jacopo di Cione. Andrea worked as a painter, sculptor, and architect in the middle decades of the 14th century, providing altarpieces, tabernacles, and frescoes for many of Florence’s major churches including Santa Maria Novella and Orsanmichele.

Reference: G. Kreytenberg. “Cione.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T017817pg1

Further reading: Orcagna’s Tabernacle in Orsanmichele, Florence by Gert Kreytenberg (1994); Painting in the Age of Giotto: A Historical Reevaluation by Hayden Maginnis (1997).

The Expulsion of the Duke of Athens, 1343, fresco, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence

Jacopo di Cione and Andrea Orcagna, St. Matthew and Scenes from his life, 1367-8, formerly Orsanmichele, now Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence

The Strozzi Altarpiece, 1354-7, Strozzi Chapel, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Tabernacle, 1359, Orsanmichele, Florence: Birth of the VirginAnnunciationPresentation in the Temple; Dormition and Assumption of the Virgin

(via italianartsociety)

#art #history #art history #orcagna #Florence #14th century #Renaissance #Middle Ages

Lavinia Fontana was baptized on this day in 1552 in Bologna. Women were typically excluded from artistic training in the Renaissance, but Lavinia was able to learn from her father, the Bolognese Mannerist Prospero Fontana (d. 1597). She began her career in Bologna painting small devotional works and portraits. She also painted history paintings, like her acclaimed Noli me tangerenow in the Uffizi. She ended her career in Rome, where she received important commissions to provide altar decorations for the churches of S. Paolo fuori le mura and S. Maria della Pace. Lavinia has the largest oeuvre of any woman prior to 1700, an accomplishment even more impressive considering she had eleven children. 

In addition to self-portraits, Lavinia was asked to paint the portraits of noble men, women, and children. Among the most notable are two portraits of the young Antonietta Gonzalez, daughter of Pedro Gonzalez (the so-called “hairy man from Munich,” although born in the Canary Islands). Gonzalez and his offspring are believed to be the first documented cases of Ambras Syndrome, which causes hair to grow on the face and body after birth. They were famous within noble circles as natural wonders, considered to be more animal than human. While cruel and unusual by today’s standards, the treatment of the Gonzalez family as gifts for royals allowed them to have some prestige and material comforts rather than being shunned and isolated.

Reference: “Fontana (ii): (2) Lavinia Fontana.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. http://www.oxfordartonline.com/

Further reading: Lavinia Fontana: A Painter and Her Patrons in Sixteenth-century Bologna by Caroline P. Murphy (2003); and Invisible Women. Forgotten Artists of Florence (English and Italian Edition) by Jane Fortune (2009).

Self-Portrait in a Studio, 1579, oil on copper, Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi.

Portrait of Ginevra Aldrovandi Hercolani as Widow, ca. 1595, oil on canvas, Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery

Portrait of a Notary, 1583, oil on canvas, Private Collection

Portrait of a Noblewoman, ca. 1580, oil on canvas, Washington, National Museum of Women in the Arts

Head of a Young Man, 1606, oil on canvas, Rome, Galleria Borghese; photo credit: Scala/Art Resource, NY

Judith with the Head of Holofernes, 1600, oil on canvas, Bologna, Museo Davia Bargellini

Noli me tangere (Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene), 1581, oil on canvas, Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi

Portrait of a Newborn in a Cradle, c. 1583, oil on canvas, Bologna, Pinacoteca Nazionale

Portrait of Antonietta Gonzalez, c. 1595, oil on canvas, Blois, Musée du Château

Portrait of Antonietta Gonzalez1594-95, red and black pencil, brown ink on paper, New York: The Morgan Library and Museum

#art #Lavinia Fontana #italy #16th century #Renaissance #Bologna #nobility #portraiture #religious art #Christian art

Parmigianino died on this day in 1540 in Casalmaggiore at age 37. Born Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, the artist derived his nickname from his hometown of Parma. Though cut short, his career was successful as he gained fame in Parma and Rome, following in the footsteps of Correggio and Raphael. Associated with the so-called Mannerist tendency in sixteenth-century art, Parmigianino created portraits, religious works, and mythological subjects all with his signature elegance, grace, and elongated human forms. His Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror, painted when he was only 21, was one of three paintings given to Pope Clement VII, securing important commissions for him at the Vatican. Important works in Parma included his famous Madonna of the Long Neck, which decorated the Baiardi chapel at Santa Maria dei Servi and his titillating Cupid Sharpening his Bow, which inspired a copy by Peter Paul Rubens.

Bishop Saint in Prayer, 1528-30, brush and brown wash over black chalk, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Van Day Truex Fund, 1995

Self-portrait in a Convex Mirror, oil on panel, 1524, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Antea, ca. 1531-34, oil on canvas, Naples, Museo e Gallerie Nazionale di Capodimonte

Portrait of a Man, ca. 1527-31, oil on canvas, Private Collection

Schiava Turca, ca. 1531-34, oil on panel, Galleria Nazionale di Parma

Cupid Sharpening his Bow, 1534-39, oil on panel, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum.

Madonna of the Long Neck, oil on panel, 1534-40, Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi.

Reference: David Ekserdjian. “Parmigianino.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T065539>.

Further reading: The Art of Parmigianino by David Franklin (2004); and Parmigianino by David Ekserdjian (2006).

#art #Parmigianino #portraiture #religious art #Christian art #cupid #Renaissance #italy #16th century #Mannerism #Parma

On this day in 1339, the General Council of Siena voted to accept the extraordinarily ambitious “Duomo Nuovo" project for Siena Cathedral. The Sienese had already decided in 1316 to expand their Duomo with a new choir extending for two bays over a baptistery built into the hillside below as a foundation (see plan, c). Doubts were raised about the project’s feasibility, and a committee of experts (including three Florentines) advised the Cathedral Works to abandon the plan and build a new, larger building. The Sienese solution was to transform the existing structure into a large transept, building a new, enormous nave on the southeast flank (see plan, d). Just over 60% of the council members approved the plan; and the project would ultimately fail. Though partly vaulted by mid-century, the piers and vaults of the new north aisle were demolished after 1357 when they were assessed to be defective. The south aisle and facciatone (enormous facade) are still preserved today, housing the Opera del Duomo museum and standing as a testament to Sienese civic pride, ambition, and hubris.

Siena, plan of the present cathedral, begun after 1215, and the Duomo Nuovo, c. 1339–48: (a) crypt; (b) bell-tower; (c) choir extension over baptistery; (d) Duomo Nuovo; (e) dome; (f) Piccolomini Library; (g) sacristy

Reference: Enzo Carli and H. B. J. Maginnis. “Siena.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T078570>.

Further reading: The Cathedral of Siena and the Cathedral Museum by Enzo Carli (1995).

(Source: italianartsociety)

#architecture #Siena #Duomo #cathedral #italy #14th century #italian architecture