Artibus et Historiae no. 44 (XXII), 2001
252 x 232 mm
ISSN 0391-9064
MARILYN ARONBERG LAVIN - The Stella Altarpiece. Magnum Opus of the Cesi Master (pp. 9—22)

An astonishing image of Christ and Mary wrapped in an amorous embrace as the sponsus/sponsa of the 'Song of Songs' is the central image of a major winged altarpiece attributed to the early 14th-century painter known as the Maestro di Cesi. Based on the motifs in the partially ruined fresco by Cimabue in the Upper Church of San Francesco in Assisi, until now it has been seen as derivative work, useful only in helping to recreate the more important fresco. Cleaned and restored and recently identified as having been painted for the Augustinian Monastero della Stella in Spoleto, the altarpiece now takes its place as a major work of the early Italian trecento, admirable for its precious technique and commendable for it iconographical innovations. 

ROGER J. CRUM - Severing the Neck of Pride: Donatello's Judith and Holofernes and the Recollection of Albizzi Shame in Medicean Florence (pp. 23—29)

Donatello's Judith and Holofernes was most probably positioned in the garden of the Medici Palace shortly after the palace was completed in the mid to late 1450s. Although rarely noted in the literature, the completion and decoration of the Medici Palace in the 1450s corresponded to a period in which the Medici and their political party struggled to maintain political unity and, in essence, their united control of the city. This article examines this conjunction of artistic and political events by analizing Donatello's statue in relation to the theme of pride that is central to the iconography of the Judith narrative, is at the center of the inscription that once accompanied the statue, and is clearly informative of political circumstances of the 1450s and memory of the Albizzi-Medici struggle of the 1420s and early 1430s. That earlier period became an important period of reference for the Medici and their regime as they worked to maintain their tenuous unity in the 1450s. 

CHARLES BURROUGHS - Monuments of Marsyas: Flayed Wall and Echoing Space in the New Sacristy, Florence (pp. 31—49)
The Medici Chapel in Florence, designed by Michelangelo, is an excellent testcase for a recent shift in the discipline of Art History to metonymic method, i.e., emphasizing spatial (and other) contiguity rather than text-based iconography. In the 1440s Cosimo de' Medici, effective ruler of Florence since 1434, built his great palace and assumed sole responsibility for the reconstruction of the nearby church of San Lorenzo. The palace faced away from the church, a symbolic disjunction that troubled successive generations of Medici. 
In the early 1520s, Michelangelo produced various designs, none executed, for the entrance wall of the Medici Chapel with the tombs of Lorenzo the Magnificent and his brother. This article argues that the two latest known designs both suggest a connection between the chapel and spaces beyond, but with profoundly different ideological resonances. One recalls the triumphal, classical architecture of Michelangelo's abandoned facade project for the church and, further back, celebrations of Medici power in the city at large. The other refers to the high altar of the basilica itself, near Cosimo's tomb. 
The dissected architectural forms of the second design evoke the myth of Marsyas, the flayed satyr, as do motifs in the chapel's executed decoration. Such allusions link the chapel with the garden of the Medici Palace, where ancient statues of Marsyas flanked the portal that led out toward the church. 
Set up by Cosimo and Lorenzo, these statues entered into a complex set of echoes with other statues in the palace garden and courtyard. The reference to Marsyas is not just a matter of iconography, but also of a radically innovative conception of the possibilities of architectural signification, while inviting reflection on the historical roles and fortunes of the Medici themselves. 
JOSEPH MANCA - Moral Stance in Italian Renaissance Art: Image, Text, and Meaning (pp. 51—76)

This essay analyzes the use by Renaissance artists of firm posture, gravity, and solid contrapposto to convey a sense of moral worth and dignity. We must rely on visual evidence to demonstrate the idea that the artists intended stance to have an ethical meaning, although the idea is also supported by a few written texts of the period. Observers have often overlooked the moral significance of stance, giving attention instead to the naturalism and aesthetic effects of counterpoise and weighty stance. 

PAUL BAROLSKY - A Lost Drawing by Michelangelo (pp. 77—78)

The article discusses an episode from Condivi's biography of Michelangelo, apparently invented by the great sculptor himself and by scholars dismissed as "apocryphal", fictitious, i.e. not worthy of being used as a biographical source of Michelangelo. The author argues that even if the story was invented, it is nevertheless a part of history: Michelangelo's fictive shaping of his life-story is itself factual, a fact from his life. The "facts" of Michelangelo's "life" are delivered to us so artfully by his biographers, and such fiction is a historical fact. The author suggests that instead of being terrified by the word "fiction", we should seek to ponder the interrelations of facts and fiction. 

SEYMOUR HOWARD - Eros, Empathy, Expectation, Ascription, and Breasts of Michelangelo (A Prolegomenon on Polymorphism and Creativity) (pp. 79—118)

The Manhattan Eros is replete with links to the hand, mind, eye, and ambience of Michelangelo. But his authorship of this mixed aggregate is not proven. Ultimately ascription depends upon the strengths and weaknesses of empathy and expectation joined with a wealth of supportive but inferential evidence. Whoever its author may be - and certainly Michelangelo among a host of others seems for now the most likely candidate - its androgynous and variously autobiographic attributes, including breast formulae (accessible also to forgers and simulators), tally with recurrent polymorphic aspects of Michelangelo's sanctioned and taboo interests expressed with and as a generative force that inspired his life, art, and times. This imagery, sublimated in hermetic and grotesque phantasms doted on by his elite patronage, was ultimately influential and prophetic for aspects of Mannerist and Baroque affectation. 

SARA NAIR JAMES - Penance and Redemption: the Role of the Roman Liturgy in Luca Signorelli's Frescoes at Orvieto (pp. 119—147)

Luca Signorelli's frescoes in the Cappella Nuova of the Orvieto Cathedral (1499-1504) have long been noted for style, the monumental figure, and the unusual subject matter: a unique combination of the Last Judgment, events from the Apocalypse, and scenes from Dante and classical literature. Though scholars have written much about the chapel, no one has satisfactorily explained that this seemingly disparate combination of scenes forms a logical, unified program, designed for an audience accustomed to seeing paintings as visual sermons. This article explores the Roman liturgical texts for the Feast of All Saints and Advent as the unifying factor, and reveals an underlying message of salvation through penance. 

HUBERTUS GÜNTHER - Amor und Psyche. Raffaels Freskenzyklus in der Gartenloggia der Villa des Agostino Chigi und die Fabel von Amor und Psyche in der Malerei der italienischen Renaissance (pp. 149—166)
Raffael's Frescoes in the Garden Loggia of the Villa Agostino Chigi and the Myth of Amor and Psyche in Painting of the Italian Renaissance
The article presents pictorial tradition of the tale of Amor and Psyche in panel and fresco painting from mid-15th till mid-16th century, the Farnesina murals being the highlight of this account. Demolished cycles, known only from written records, have also been incorporated in the paper. On the one hand, the article focuses on different ways of presenting the episodes of the tale in a painting: continuous sequences of pictures made of simple scenes; a narrative divided into two sections, one above another - thus differentiating the importance of events - on cassoni; and finally - illustration of the tale by Raphael: monumental, concentrated on the Olympic sphere. On the other hand, the essay provides a wide spectrum of iconographic references, which in the Renaissance were or could be relevant to the tale. The Neoplatonic attitude of the successors of Boccaccio can still be felt in the cassoni painting, but there it already seems to be challenged by a more sensual alternative, which gradually gained acceptance in the course of the Renaissance. According to the author, the typically humanist iconography of the subject matter made the house decorated with the tale a stylized house of Amor. It was connected - as written records testify (Niccolò da Correggio, Filippo Beroaldo) - with a moral, teaching, that one should avoid Psyche's exhausting adventures and live a calm, orderly or temperate life in seclusion. The praise of sobria vita solitaria constitutes a classic topos in the Renaissance literature devoted to life in villas and thus was an obvious example, one going perfectly with the villas of the families of d'Este (Belriguardo), Gonzaga (Palazzo del Tè) and of Agostino Chigi. 
SERGIUSZ MICHALSKI - Fleisch und Geist: Zur Bildsymbolik bei Pieter Aertsen (pp. 167—186)
Flesh and Spirit: On Pictorial Symbolism in Pieter Aertsen
The so-called "inverted paintings" of Pieter Aertsen have been since 1973 the subject of a very intensive scholarly debate. Aiming at an all-encompassing interpretation the article puts forward the concept of the manducatio indignorum and its Eucharist ramifications and illustrates it with both images of the Last Supper and that of the lesser known Parable of the Great Supper (Math. 22). A close analysis of Aertsen's most important painting, the Christ in the House of Maria and Martha (1552, Vienna), shows it to illustrate subsequent scriptural verses form Luke, 10-12. The type as such served also as a demonstration of the virtuoso illusionistic powers of the artist. 
CHRISTIAN RÜMELIN - Stichtheorie und Graphikverständnis im 18. Jahrhundert (pp. 187—200)
The Theory of Printmaking and Understanding of Graphic Arts in the 18th Century
Whoever deals with graphic arts has to reckon with the rarely considered theoretical analysis and the not very comprehensive scientific treatment of this field. These peculiarities are the result of an attitude that was typical for the early 19th century, but does not correspond to the historical reality. The article discusses in detail the claims and possibilities of prints after another works of art. The graphic arts are represented either as "translations" of a work of art or as "imitations", but not in the same way as the mimesis in painting. In the theoretical literature concerning different graphic techniques great attention was given to the expression of optic and artistic phenomena. 
HIDEMICHI TANAKA - Cézanne and Japonisme (pp. 201—220)

After summarising the comments of other art historians on possible links between Cézanne's paintings and Japanese landscape prints, the author assesses the circumstantial evidence for Cézanne's knowledge of Japanese art, noting that several of Cézanne's friends were in the forefront of the Japonisant movement. Cézanne is famous for his denial of the value of outline, one of the techniques which lends Japanese prints much of their character, and advocacy of the representation of nature by the cylinder, the sphere and the cone, an idea which can also be found in the writings of Hokusai. This denial of outline may reflect the artist's awareness of Japanese ink paintings, as opposed to prints, and it is also clear that he understood some of the fundamental teachings of Buddhism, which were in harmony with his own notion of the worship of nature. The article concludes by suggesting that Cézanne may have painted exactly thirty-six oil paintings of Mont Sainte-Victoire in conscious rivalry with the title of Hokusai's series of 'thirty-six' (actually forty-six) views of Mount Fuji.

JÖRG TRAEGER - Picassos Guernica. Zum Bündnis von Avantgarde und Demokratie (pp. 221—244)
 Picasso's Guernica. A Union of Avant-Garde and Democracy
Modern art has reflected the struggle between democracy and totalitarism in different ways. The most important expression of this is Picasso's Guernica (1937). Inspired by the Civil War in Spain but based on the liberal structure of the artist's political personality, the picture has an open and universal meaning. Despite of Picasso's strong political involvement against Franco, Guernica avoids any partialism. It is a symbol not only against war in general, but also of individual - and therefore democratic - freedom. This corresponds with the fact that the republican government of Spain had not exerted any influence on the contents or stylistic features of the work. At the Paris World Fair of 1937 Guernica stood in a fundamental and systematic contrast with the artistic contributions of the Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. According to Picasso's will, Guernica's coming home to Spain was linked with the reestablishment of democracy in the country.