IASblog

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

Francesco di Giorgio Martini was baptized on 23 September 1439 in Siena. Francesco worked as an architect, engineer, painter, sculptor, and writer and is widely seen as the most important Sienese artist of the later fifteenth century. Vasari considered him to be second only to Brunelleschi as one of the fathers of Renaissance architecture. In addition to his hometown, he spent time at the courts of Naples, Milan, and Urbino and designed fortifications, palaces, and churches. His treatise on architecture was the first to approach the subject from a practical, rather than theoretical, standpoint and includes numerous illustrations.

Reference: Francesco Paolo Fiore and Pietro C. Marani. “Francesco di Giorgio Martini.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T029581>.

Further reading: Francesco di Giorgio Martini’s Fortress Complexes by Fritz Barth et al. (2011)

San Bernardino, Urbino, begun ca. 1480-2

Palazzo della Signoria, Jesi, begun 1486. Completed by Andrea Sansovino after 1519.

Design for a Wall Monument, ca. 1490. New York: Robert Lehman Collection, 1975.1.376

Saint Bernardino Preaching from a Pulpit, ca. 1470-75. New York: Robert Lehman Collection, 1975.1.2474

Trattato di architettura, ca. 1470. Turin: Biblioteca Nazionale

(Source: italianartsociety)

#art #architecture #architectural history #Architectural Theory #art history #Siena #15th century #Renaissance #Francesco di Giorgio Martini #court artist

Alessandro Allori died on this day (22 September) in 1607 in Florence. Adopted by Agnolo Bronzino at age five, Allori developed into one of the leading second-generation Mannerists, working in Florence for the Medici court and other important patrons on a variety of projects including portraits, narrative frescoes, temporary decorations, and altarpieces. 

One of his best-known works is the Pearl Fishers, painted around 1571 as part of thedecorative program for the studiolo of Duke Francesco de’Medici in the Palazzo Vecchio. Working under Vasari, Allori created an image emblematic of late Florentine Mannerism with its complexly posed figures that show Allori’s appreciation of Michelangelo. Allori also did a number of important works for members of the Salviati family, including mythological scenes for Alamanno Salviati’s villa near Florence, scenes from the Odyssey for Jacopo Salviati’s Florentine palazzo, and works for the Chapel of St. Antoninus, which also served as the Salviati family chapel, at San Marco in Florence.

Reference: Jack J. Spalding IV and Miles L. Chappell. “Allori.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.<http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T001933pg1>.

Further reading: Pontormo, Bronzino, and Allori: A Geneaology of Florentine Art by Elizabeth Pilliod (2001).

Pearl Fishers1570-72. Oil on slate. Florence: Palazzo Vecchio.

Self-portrait. ca. 1555. Oil on panel. Florence: Galleria degli Uffizi.

The Abduction of Proserpine, 1570. Oil on panel. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 73.PB.73

Women on a Terrace, 1589. Fresco. Florence: Loggetta, Palazzo Pitti.

(Source: italianartsociety)

#art #history #art history #Allori #Bronzino #Florence #16th century #Mannerism #Renaissance #Vasari #painting

Lodovico Cardi was born on 21 September 1559 in Castello di Cigoli, the source of his nickname, Il Cigoli. A preeminent artist in early seventeenth-century Florence, Cigoli was one of the first to reject Mannerism, preferring sober naturalism and clarity to complicated artifice. Trained by Alessandro Allori, Cigoli found greater kinship with other “anti-mannerist” artists like Federico Barocci and Santi di Tito and proved to be a major figure in the development of the Baroque style.

Reference: Miles L. Chappell. “Cigoli, Lodovico.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press. <http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T017762>.

Further reading: Colorire naturale e vero: Figline, il Cigoli e i suoi amici by Novella Barbolani di Montauto and Miles Chappell, eds. (2008)

St. Francis, 1597-99. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg

Head of Christ, 1559–1613. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Purchase, Mrs. Carl L. Selden Gift, in memory of Carl L. Selden, 1987

The Adoration of the Shepherds with Saint Catherine of Alexandria, 1599. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Gwynne Andrews Fund, 1991 (1991.7)

The Sacrifice of Isaac, c. 1607. Galleria Palatina (Palazzo Pitti), Florence

Portrait of Il Cigoli

(Source: italianartsociety)

#art #history #art history #cigoli #16th century #italy #italian art #17th Century #Florence

Today is the feast day of St. Matthew, one of the twelve apostles. Matthew’s gospel recounts how Jesus called him to abandon his work as a money changer to follow him. At the turn of the seventeenth century, Baroque artist Caravaggio created one of the most famous narrative cycles devoted to Matthew for the Contarelli Chapel in the Roman church of San Luigi dei Francesi. On the left wall, Matthew is seen at his counting desk, stunned by Jesus’ invitation. On the right, Matthew is executed for his Christian faith. Over the altar, Caravaggio shows Matthew writing his gospel, inspired by an angel. The painting was the second made for this space after the original was rejected for its lack of decorum. In the revised version, Caravaggio separates the heavenly messenger from the earthly apostle and reworks Matthew’s pose so that his bare foot no longer hangs over the altar table.

Caravaggio, paintings for the Contarelli Chapel, 1599-1600, San Luigi dei Francesi, Rome

(Source: italianartsociety)

#St. Matthew #Caravaggio #art #history #art history #italian art #Rome #Baroque Art #painting #feast day #catholic church #saints #religious art #Christian art

On 20 September 1374, painter Antonio Veneziano registered with the Arte dei Medici e Speziali in Florence. Because pigments were sold by apothecaries (speziali), professional painters working in Florence typically joined the guild of the physicians and pharmacists. Florentine artists also typically joined the Compagnia di San Luca — a confraternity dedicated to the Evangelist Luke, who was believed to have been a painter.

Though from Venice, Antonio, who was active between 1369 and 1388, is best known for his time spent working in Florence and Pisa, where he painted acclaimed frescoes dedicated to the city’s patron saint Ranerius. In addition to working elsewhere in Tuscany, it is possible that Antonio worked for a time in Toledo, Spain. As was common for artists working abroad, Antonio was known by his birthplace rather than his father’s or a family name.

Reference: Cornelia Syre. “Antonio Veneziano.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.<http://www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/grove/art/T003321>.

Virgin and Child, ca. 1380. Boston: MFA

Apostle James the Greater, c. 1384, Berlin: Staatliche Museen

(Source: italianartsociety)

#art #history #art history #antonio veneziano #painting #Trecento #14th century #gold ground #tempera #religious art #Christian art #Venice #Florence #Pisa

20 September is the feast day of St. Eustace, a Roman general who died in 118 during the reign of emperor Trajan. Known in Italy as Eustachio, he converted to Christianity after seeing a stag with a Crucifix between its antlers while hunting. When he refused praise the Roman gods, he and his family, who had also been baptized, were condemned to death. Popular in Byzantium, the legend of St. Eustace was popularized in Western Europe through The Golden Legend. Northern Italian artist Pisanello created one of the best-known images of Eustace’s miraculous vision, where the saint hunts in a lush, animal-filled wood. Federico Zuccaro designed a fresco to decorate a house whose facade overlooked the Piazza Sant’Eustachio, home to the small church dedicated to the saint in central Rome. Today, one can enjoy a fantastic cappuccino at the caffè of the same name across the piazza.

Sant’Eustachio, Rome

Pisanello, The Vision of Saint Eustace, ca. 1438-42. London: The National Gallery.

Federico Zuccaro, The Vision of Saint Eustace, bef. 1566. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1962.

Caffè Sant’Eustachio, Piazza Sant’Eustachio, Rome

#art #history #art history #italy #feast day #saints #eustace #eustachio #martyrs #cappuccino #miracle #vision #conversion #Christian art #religious art #Rome #catholic church

Today, September 19, is the feast day of St. Januarius, better known as San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples believed to protect the city from volcanic eruptions.  Gennaro was an early Christian martyr and bishop of Naples. He is best known in the USA for the San Gennaro festival held annually in Little Italy in New York — a tradition begun in the early 20th century by Italian immigrants.

Caravaggio, St. Januarius Displaying his Relics, 1607. New York, Morton B. Harris collection.

Artemesia Gentilleschi, The Martyrdom of St. Januarius in the Amphitheater at Pozzuoli, c. 1636-7. Naples: Capodimonte.

Luca Giordano, The Martyrdom of St. Januarius, ca. 1690. London: The National Gallery

Neri di Bicci, The Martyrdom of San Gennaro, 15th century. Private collection.

(Source: italianartsociety)

#art #history #saints #catholic church #san gennaro #St. Januarius #italy #italian art #early christianity #naples #Little Italy
@blantonmuseum: Dog with a Biscuit and a Chinese Cup by Giovanna Garzoni, 1640s
Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670) was among the first women painters to specialize in still life. She was especially praised for her renderings of plants and animals and was a favorite of the Medici, who called on her to decorate their various villas. She was sought after throughout her long career and left her estate to the Accademia di San Luca in Rome on the stipulation that they build a tomb for her in their church.
Still life with a bowl of citrons, late 1640s, Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum

@blantonmuseum: Dog with a Biscuit and a Chinese Cup by Giovanna Garzoni, 1640s

Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670) was among the first women painters to specialize in still life. She was especially praised for her renderings of plants and animals and was a favorite of the Medici, who called on her to decorate their various villas. She was sought after throughout her long career and left her estate to the Accademia di San Luca in Rome on the stipulation that they build a tomb for her in their church.

Still life with a bowl of citrons, late 1640s, Los Angeles, J. Paul Getty Museum

(Source: thedogsofarthistory, via blantonmuseum)

#art #history #art history #Baroque Art #italy #rome #giovanna garzoni #Women Artists #women in art #still life

By Sean Roberts, Villa I Tatti

On this day in 1440 the Florentine humanist Francesco Berlinghieri was born.  Like generations of Berlinghieri men, he enjoyed modest success in his native city’s political establishment. Francesco is remembered today, however, primarily for the poetic undertaking that occupied more than two decades of his life, the Septe giornate della geographia or Seven Days of Geography. Deeply impressed by Florence’s literary heritage and the fashionable revival of classical texts, Francesco fused the language of Dante with the ancient mathematical geography of Claudius Ptolemy. Berlinghieri’s description of the known world in Tuscan verse was produced both in lavish manuscripts and in a printed edition of 1482. The massive maps that accompanied both printed and illuminated examples of the book represented the most significant cartographic project and the most elaborate series of prints produced in fifteenth-century Florence. Berlinghieri’s image of the earth set the tone for generations of Florentine cosmographers and shaped the visual culture of Renaissance geography on the Italian peninsula and beyond.

Incipit of Book One (detail), paint on vellum, from Francesco Berlinghieri, Septe giornate della geographia (Florence, 1482), Milan, Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense.

World Map, copperplate engraving, from Berlinghieri, Septe giornate della geographia (Florence, 1482), Milan, Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense

World Map, paint on vellum, from Berlinghieri, Septe giornate della geographia (Florence, 1482), Milan, Biblioteca Nazionale Braidense. 

#art #history #art history #guest post #cartography #mapmaking #maps #geography #italy #berlinghieri #ptolemy #15th century #printmaking #manuscript illumination #Florence #Renaissance #italian renaissance #cosmography

Architect, painter, writer, designer, and publisher Gio Ponti died on this day in 1979 in Milan. He was eighty-eight years old. A graduate of the Polytechnic in Milan, Ponti is famous for designing the first espresso machine in 1949 and the Pirelli skyscraper in Milan in 1950. Ponti founded the design magazine Domus, which he edited from 1928-1941 and again from 1948 until his death. One of his last projects was the design for the Denver Art Museum.

#art #architecture #design #italian design #Gio ponti #Milan #espresso #Pirelli #skyscraper #Domus #modernism #20th century