Artibus et Historiae no. 16 (VIII), 1987
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
JÓZEF GRABSKI - The Corsini Flagellation Group by Alessandro Algardi (pp. 9—23)
Based on the analysis of the recently rediscovered Corsini Flagellation group, till now known only from older literature, this paper reconsiders the authorship of the different versions of this, in the past highly regarded and often executed, three-figure group. Art historians which studied the different versions in the past (Planiscig, Schlosser, Nava Cellini, up to Jennifer Montagu) attributed various figures alternatively to two sculptors: A. Algardi or F. du Quesnoy. 
Jennifer Montagu in both her studies on the problem (1967 and 1985) proposed a hypothesis that some figures are by Algardi (e.g. the so-called type "B"), and other version (e.g., type "B"), by both authors, Algardi and du Quesnoy. Reconsidering the old problem of two authors in the light of the newly rediscovered work, the author's opinion is that there is the same basic conception underlying all known examples. The different versions seem to reflect inner struggles in the creative process of the same artist, Alessandro Algardi, who attempts different approaches to the theme, in search of the best possible solution. He also offers to patrons and goldsmiths a possible choice of castings to fit the varying demands, both commercial and aesthetic, of the market. 
LEO STEINBERG - «How Shall This Be?» Reflections on Filippo Lippi's Annunciation in London, Part I (pp. 25—44)

Not only Christian philosophers but also artists concerned themselves with the quomodo of the Incarnation. Painters often represented the Spiritus Sanctus in the form of a dove from whose beak divine rays sometimes emanated. The critical questions of the dove's position in relation to the Virgin and at what point on the Virgin's body it should aim its divine rays were rethought with astonishing independence of mind by Lippi in his London Annunciation. The dove has relinquished its normal high-flying station and is level with the Virgin's womb. The rare golden motes emitted from its beak are directed at the Virgin's belly. The Virgin's dress parts over the abdomen, and the opening releases a burst of similar gold-dotted rays. This "How" of Mary's impregnation is in symbolic analogy to the process of vision as understood in 15th-century Florence: visual rays exiting from the eye mingle with oncoming rays to constitute sight. Lippi suggests light as the sole and sufficient symbol of fecundation. As light is the world's noblest substance and its cognate, vision, the noblest sense, so their mutual coupling is fittest to serve as a symbol of sacred union. 

SAMUEL Y. EDGERTON - «How Shall This Be?», Part II (pp. 45—53)

Antonino Pierozzi, Archbishop of Florence in the mid-15th century, described extensively the miraculous in utero conception of Jesus. Lippi, in his London Annunciation, superseded theological interpretation and ventured into optics: namely Roger Bacon's theory of the "multiplication of species", which had been excerpted by Ghiberti in Book III of his Commentarii and was therefore well known to artists. The evidence is convincing that Lippi thought out the pictorial solution to this painting with Bacon in mind. When he painted the dove opposite Mary's womb, he was thinking that distinct vision occurs only when the visual object confronts the eye and the visual rays are able to enter at right angles. The second hint of Lippi's debt to Bacon's optics is the way he represented the species coming from the dove to the Virgin. Only one ray issuing from the dove connects with the center of the light emanating from the Virgin's womb. It is also the most nearly perpendicular. The little cut in Mary's garment represents the pupil of an eye. 

WALTER CAHN - Moses ben Abraham's Chroniques de la Bible (pp. 55—66)
 Moses ben Abraham's Chroniques de la Bible
In the Royal Library in The Hague there is a little-known manuscript with illustrations of the prophecies of Daniel, probably executed in north-eastern France around 1300. The text is a French paraphrase of the Bible with special emphasis on the Books of Daniel and Maccabees, compiled by Moses ben Abraham, a Jew, for his patron William X of Auvergne. The express purpose of this work is to trace the lineage of noble clans and peoples to their Biblical origins, to speculate on struggles of ancient empires and marvels still to come. Despite the Christian reading the translator gives to Hebrew prophecy, there are discrepancies with the Latin Vulgate text which also come to light in the illustrations. It can be determined, on the basis of historical analysis, that the work in The Hague is a copy of an original made some fifty years earlier, and that it must have been the object of eschatological speculation and was therefore acutely topical for an audience entering a new century. 
JOSEPH GUTMANN - The Sacrifice of Isaac in Medieval Jewish Art (pp. 67—89)
The dramatic narrative of Genesis, 22 has always been one of the most important themes in Judaism. There are two known versions of the Sacrifice of Isaac in early Jewish art, but they have no relationship to the twenty-seven extant illustrations from the 13th to the 15th century. 
Most are found in prayer-books and reveal so many variations in detail that it is impossible to posit one source. It is not astonishing to discover that many of the miniatures were made by Christian artists or Jews copying medieval Christian models. Novel are the many distinctly Jewish iconographic features. 
CHRISTIANE L. JOOST-GAUGIER - Lorenzo the Magnificent and the Giraffe as a Symbol of Power (pp. 91—99)

In Vasari's painted portrait of Lorenzo the Magnificent, painted for the apartments of Duke Cosimo I in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, prominent exposure is given to a giraffe, one of the gifts presented to Lorenzo by his ambassadors. The article shows that the giraffe, which is critical to the composition of the painting, has not only a historical motive but also an iconographic significance. The admiration of Lorenzo for Julius Caesar is reflected in this demonstration, the second time in history when a giraffe was presented to the Italian people. It may therefore be interpreted as a symbol of the power of the tyrant. 

JUDITH ZILCZER - «Color Music»: Synaesthesia and Nineteenth-Century Sources for Abstract Art (pp. 101—126)

Coined in the late nineteenth century, the term "Color Music" described a visionary art from created with color lights and independent of easel painting. This idea of color music was symptomatic of a fundamental shift in aesthetic theory, whereby music served as an ideal model for the visual arts. The twin doctrines of musical analogy and synaesthesia provided the foundation for theories of color music. Advocates of synaesthesia were divided into two distinct schools - the quasi-mystical and the pseudo-scientific. This paper analyzes the evolution of these two traditions and their influence among American artists and critics of the early modern period. 

PAUL F. WATSON - On a Window in Parnassus (pp. 127—148)

The window on Parnassus is the shuttered object that figures in Marcantonio Raimondi's engraved Parnassus, after Raphael (ca. 1517-20). This preserves Raphael's first thought or modello for the fresco in the Segnatura (1509-11), as scholarly consensus maintains and geometric analyses also demonstrate. Simpler in form than the final fresco, engraved Parnassus also differs in content: a tightly-worked out demonstration of poetry, its genres, hierarchies and activities, derived from a body of classical texts (Virgil, Horace) consistently Augustan. Raphael's classicized Parnassus also serves an epideictic function, directing attention to that new and Roman Parnassus, the Villa of the Belvedere, an orientation stressed by the engraver and the window on Parnassus that anchors his reworking of Raphael's first composition. 

JOSEPH F. CHORPENNING - Another Look at Caravaggio and Religion (pp. 149—158)

This article, the point of departure for which is W. Friedlaender's controversial hypothesis that there is an affinity between Caravaggio's altarpieces and the spirituality of St. Philip Neri and Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola, is divided into two parts. In part I, after a summary of the state of the question of this hypothesis and its reception, there is a critique of several ideas of Friedlaender, his supporters, and his critics: Caravaggio was probably introduced to the Exercises by the Augustinians, not the Oratorians; the Exercises are not the only place where the artist could have come into contact with the meditative practices of the composition of place and application of the senses; and although the Oratorians and Jesuits may have found Caravaggio's breaches of decorum offensive, that does not mean that the artist did not respond to and internalize elements of the spirituality of Neri and Loyola. Part II puts forth the view that the hallmarks of Caravaggio's altarpieces identified by Friedlaender and other - the direct contact the artist establishes between the sacred scene and the spectator and his consistent humanization of Christ, the Virgin, and the saints, as well as populating his religious paintings with apparently poor, common and very human types - are primarily Caravaggio's artistic response to, and interpretation of, Counter-Reformation meditative practices. This view is substantiated by an examination of Caravaggio's religious art in relation to the liturgical context for which it was intended and the liturgical piety of his age, of which his meditative prayer was an integral part. 

FERDINANDO BOLOGNA - Alla ricerca del vero San Francesco in estasi di Michel Agnolo da Caravaggio per il cardinale Francesco Del Monte (pp. 159—177)
Searching for the True St. Francis in Ecstasy by Caravaggio for the Cardinal Francesco del Monte
A thorough examination of all the available artistic and documentational material connected with Caravaggio's works on the subject of St. Francis of Assisi, leads to the conclusion that the St. Francis in Ecstasy, mentioned in the 1627 inventory of Cardinal Del Monte's belongings, cannot be identified with any of the works known of so far. Not even the Stigmatization of St. Francis, now in Hartford, since the subject of this work is not the same at all and the history of the painting is completely different. For some Caravaggio most likely must have done the work mentioned in the inventory for Del Monte himself and with the saint in likeness of the Cardinal whose first name in baptism was in fact Francesco. If this supposition is true we should expect that the work we are looking for, besides fitting as closely as possible the subject in the title in the inventory, should highlight the figure of the saint as much as possible (and not as it is a fact in the Hartford painting), while being more clearly a portrait. The painting now in the Barbara Piasecka-Johnson Collection fulfills all these requirements quite well: it is of the dimensions given in the Del Monte inventory, the composition and unique use of iconography indicate that this interpretation of the ecstasy must be by Caravaggio himself. The preparatory graffiti are like what are quite often found in ones we are surest are Caravaggio's works. Furthermore, the execution is of the highest quality, and typical of the personal and autographic style of Caravaggio. This style also coincides precisely with that of the painter in the years just before the Calling of St. Matthew for the Contarelli Chapel, and not at all after 1600-1601 when Caravaggio left Del Monte's house. Finally, confirming the value of the work and its importance in art history, it should be noted that at the turn of the next century the style of the Johnson St. Francis was to become an example for Orazio Gentileschi to follow when turning to Caravaggism in his own career. At that point he did two paintings of St. Francis, one now in Rome and the other in Madrid. Both, though without preparatory graffiti (Orazio never used these) quite obviously derive from the masterpiece here in question.