Artibus et Historiae no. 34 (XVII), 1996
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
PAUL BAROLSKY - Art History as Fiction (pp. 9—17)

Whereas traditional writing about art is grounded in historical fiction, modem art historians aspire to rise above such fables of art. Despite their aspiration to transcend fiction, modern scholars often still write in unwittingly imaginative ways, especially when they find the "portraits" of artists and their friends in the work of Raphael, Tintoretto, Veronese, and Masaccio, among others. The epitome of this current of scholarship is found in exegeses of Michelangelo's Last Judgment, which is now read as a sort of pictorial, autobiographical novel. Various well-known works, including Botticelli's Primavera and Giorgione's Tempesta, also afford scholars the opportunity to spin their own yarns disguised unwittingly as iconographical analysis.

CHRISTIANE L. JOOST-GAUGIER - Michelangelo's Ignudi, and the Sistine Chapel as a Symbol of Law and Justice (pp. 19—43)

The object of this study is to show that a specific part of Michelangelo's painted ceiling, not usually considered intrinsic to thematic discussion, offers not only an important clue regarding the underlying theme of the Ceiling itself but, moreover, suggest that Ceiling is inherently related to the previous and subsequent deco­rations and indeed even to the purpose of the building itself as an architectural monument. Deriving from Ovid's Metamorphoses, the centralizing symmetry and grandly articulated ignudi of the Sistine Chapel represent the Golden Age of Man. In this way the Hebrew and Christian Bible (the Old Testament) and the "Pagan" Bible (the Ovidian legacy) - familiar sources that did not require theological expertise - were effectively combined and harmonized as the patrimony of Christian Rome. The essence of this conflation suggest that the theme of Law and Justice prevail in the Ceiling, as well as in the original altar wall and the side wall decorations, including Raphael's tapestries, the building itself and its original internal organization and, finally, in Michelangelo's Last Judgement. The so-called Sacrifice of Noah is re-named as the Sacrifice of Abel, which corresponds with the descriptions of this scene by Michelangelo's friends Condivi and Vasari as well as with the correct chronological order of the Ceiling paintings and the theme of Law and Justice.

HUGH BRIGSTOCKE, RICHARD E. SPEAR - The Ratta «Sibyl»: Replication in Domenichino's Studio (pp. 45—52)
This article investigates studio practice and replication in Domenichino's studio. It is focused on the recently discovered Cumaean Sibyl, formerly in the Ratta collection, which is presented here as an autograph second version of the Cumaean Sibyl in the Pinacoteca Capitolina, Rome. The interdependence of these two versions has been established both through direct confrontation and through investigation of specially commissioned X-rays. Further X-rays of Domenichino's Persian Sibyl in the Wallace Collection indicate that both versions of the Cumaean Sibyl derive directly from its design. The contours and principal features of the heads in all three canvases correspond so perfectly that some means of transfer in Domenichino's studio must have been involved.
TIMOTHY J. STANDRING - Poussin's «Infancy of Bacchus» Once Owned by Sir Joshua Reynolds: A New Addition to the Corpus of His Early Roman Pictures (pp. 53—68)

In the collection of Sir Joshua Reynolds by 1778, Poussin's The Infancy of Bacchus and its missing pendant were still in Rome in the mid-seventeenth century, when Jean Lemaire incorporated figural components from each into the foreground of his Youthful Romulus now in the National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin. Not unlike the bacchanalian pictures Poussin would have painted for Cassiano dal Pozzo, The Infancy of Bacchus is perhaps stylistically closest to The Landscape with Nymphs and Satyrs (Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool), The Venus and Adonis (sections in the Musée Fabre, Montpellier and private collection, New York) and The Nurture of Bacchus (National Gallery, London), all generally dated to 1625—1627. While bacchanalian motifs and handling of these pictures point to Venetian influence - a reason, perhaps, for their popularity - their subject matter stems from antique reliefs, passages in Philostratus's Imagines, or specific late-Renaissance texts. Some of his early Roman works may also reflect Poussin's desire to convey a mood of tenderness (tenerezza), a sentiment frequently encountered in the pastoral poetry of Giambattista Marino (1569—1625).

MINDY N. TAGGARD - Ut Pictura Poesis: Artists' Status In Early Modern Cordoba (pp. 69—82)

This article acknowledges the Spanish exclusion of painting from creative liberal arts requiring intellect and inspiration. It merely questions whether this attitude should be considered comprehensive of the whole of the peninsula during Golden Age. An alternative, or corollary, to the "Madrid model" devised by historians is constructed from data collected for painters active in the southern Spanish city of Cordoba during the same period. This corollary model does not pretend to account for Spanish attitudes any more than can the existing Madrid model. It does, however, support the stated possibility that in a kingdom where unification took place as late as 1492 and where there continued to exist significant variations in language, laws, and customs among various Spanish peoples, differing perceptions of profession might coexist at a given moment. Factors accounting for a greater regard for painters in Cordoba include a cultural predisposition toward the arts promoting more positive public perceptions and attitudes, the presence of an enlightened individual able to transform public opinion on the status of painting, and concentration of artist-literati capable of commanding respect and recognition for their chosen profession.

SEYMOUR HOWARD - On Iconology, Intention, Imagos, and Myths of Meaning (pp. 83—94)
By embracing all information of ambience or context, external and internal, associable with making and perception - from history, religion, literature, technology, psychology, an so on, as well as archaeology and art history - the fine art of Iconology (as opposed to the craft of Iconography) functions as the most comprehensive method for understanding works of art, as has been noted by its advocates, such as Jan Białostocki.
Here, using selected examples ancient and modern - Lacoon, Pasquino, Mona Lisa, work by Duchamp, Dali, and Pollock, and others - the author discusses the history and use of iconology, giv­ing particular attention to divining intention in maker and viewer, to a sense of self as reflected and perceived in works viewable as imagos or "Psychomorphs", and to myths of meaning, which as metaphors facilitate thought and communication.
The roles of three professionals who deal with recording, judging, and interpreting - the Chronicler, the Critic, and the Historian are briefly discussed, along with the limitations of faddish methodologies that neglect the special means of nonverbal imagery.
SHIGETOSHI OSANO - Due 'Marsia' nel giardino di Via Larga: La ricezione del decor dell'antichita romana nella collezione medicea di sculture antiche (pp. 95—120)
Two Statues of Marsyas in the Courtyard of Via Larga: The Reception of a Roman Criteria of Decor in the Display of Antique Sculpture at the Medici Palace
This paper attempts to demonstrate that the ancient Roman mode of displaying sculptural collection in town houses and villas might have served as a model for three generations of the Medici family, from Cosimo the Elder to Lorenzo the Magnificent. According to the Medicean inventory of 1492, the three marble portrait busts which Mino da Fiesole made for Piero de'Medici, his wife Lucrezia Tornabuoni and his brother Giovanni di Cosimo de'Medici were placed above the doorway of the Medici Palace in Via Larga. It has been recently argued that such a mode of display came directly from the decorative usage of sculpture diffused among the ancient Romans, based on passages of Pliny's Natural History (XXXV, 6 & 7).
In particular, dealing with two statues of hanging Marsyas displayed as pendents in the garden of the same Palace, we argue that the Medici were inspired by antique Roman figurative examples or literary sources to display them in this manner. As for the Roman decor, a most important concept for collectors and those concerned with sculptural display, it is exemplarily illustrated by Cicero's letters to his friend Atticus. We conclude that his discussion of decor may have been transmitted to the Medici by Poggio Bracciolini, who certainly had read the Ciceronian Correspondence himself, and had copied it for Cosimo the Elder.
JOSEPH MANCA - The Gothic Leonardo: Towards a Reassessment of the Renaissance (pp. 121—158)
This essay interprets various aspects of the life and art of Leonardo da Vinci as manifestations of late medieval art. The tendency in the literature, beginning with Vasari, has been to stress the progressive aspects of Leonardo's oeuvre. Yet, despite the numerous forward-looking aspects of his work, some of the most noteworthy characteristics of his art are rooted in the past, especially in the late Gothic style, including his pictorial texture, light and shadow technique, representation of smiles, elegant physical types, and interest in monsters and caricatures of humans. Similarly, Leonardo's fascination with flat geometric decoration and knots should be viewed as manifestations of the late medieval style. Leonardo turned his back on many of the tough and realistic features of Early Renaissance Florentine art, and he created a style that bridged the gap between Gothic art and the High Renaissance manner.
YONA PINSON - Connotations of Sin and Heresy in the Figure of the Black King in Some Northern Renaissance Adorations (pp. 159—175)
The image of the dark or black king in the Adoration derives from a passage of Pseudo-Bede. In later exegetical sources the personage was described as an Ethiopian or black African.
Although the third Magus' blackness derives from early exegetical sources, became established in the visual arts only in the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. In contemporary culture, both high and popular, the blackness of the Ethiopian and the Moor was associated with evil, sin and heresy. These established prejudices might have been transferred to the third Magus. Such hints of evil and heresy are usually concealed in the adornments, attributes or the offering of the Black King as he bows down to the Child (see Ulrich Apt's and Schaufelein's versions).
The present study focuses mainly on Bosch's and Breugel's versions. These two related works raise many problems of interpretation. I suggest a new reading of the Black Magus, based on the emblematic signs concealed in the ornamentation of the kings' cloaks, their offerings, and also their gestures and attributes; this is examined in relation both to patristic exegetical literature and to the contemporary image of black in popular literature. The penetration of the negative image of the black man into a high devotional moment is significant.
DIANA GISOLFI - The School of Verona in American Collections (pp. 177—191)

This paper looks briefly at roles played by J. Paul Richter and Bernard Berenson in encouraging collecting by Americans around a hundred years ago of paintings from the School of Verona. It then considers some disputed attributions and offers some new attributions among examples of Renaissance art from Verona now found in Princeton, Philadelphia and Boston. The reattribution of a large canvas of Christ Preaching from Verona belonging to the Cannon Collection leads to some suggestions concerning the original commission of Veronese's Christ Preaching at the Prado.

ULRIKE MÜLLER HOFSTEDE - Clemens XIV., ein «Prediger in der Wüste» und Friedensstifter? Zur Interpretation eines frühen Papstgrabmals von Antonio Canova (pp. 193—207)
Ten years after the death. of Clement XIV (1705—1774) the Franciscan order erected a monument to his memory in SS. Apostoli in Rome. The young artist Antonio Canova characterizes the statue if Clement XIV as an animated and eloquent figure, as if in the process of speaking. The Pope's outstretched right arm is unusual for papal iconography and is reminiscent of Marc Aurel's imperial gesture.
The author discusses the importance for the statue of both it and that of the pictorial tradition of John the Baptist Preaching in the Wilderness. She concludes that Canova sought to represent the Pope as a prophet of Christ who induces the viewer to reflect on his sins. This thesis is supported by contemporary sources and by the monument's iconography, especially the lamb beneath the sarcophagus, which is the attribute of manusuetudo and in this context that of the Pope Giovanni Ganganelli, The concept of this papal monument and the Pope's representation may be interpreted as an attempt to legitimize his pontificate and to give added importance to his person, in particular as his dissolution of the Jesuit Order came at a time when the papacy was losing much of its authority.