Paragone Arte 121
Anno LXVI – Terza serie – Numero 121 (783) Maggio 2015
Andrea De Marchi: Un insolito polittico domenicano e uno sguardo fresco sulla pittura ligure del primo Trecento
Sonia Chiodo: Filologia e storia per gli affreschi di Agnolo Gaddi nella cappella Castellani in Santa Croce
ANTOLOGIA DI ARTISTI
Michelangelo Cerquozzi nella collezione romana di Antonio degli Effetti (e una nota su Sebastiano Baldini) (Laura Laureati)
Il disegno di Pietro Bianchi per il Concorso Clementino del 1709 (Vincenzo Stanziola)
Riflessioni e nuove proposte per il Maestro del Gesù tra i dottori (Viviana Farina)
ANDREA DE MARCHI
The discovery of a triptych of Saint Thomas Aquinas Enthroned between Saint Peter and Saint Dominic significantly enhances our knowledge of Ligurian painting of the first half of the fourteenth century. The work can be attributed to the Master of the Piani d’Invrea Cross, a protagonist — together with the Master of the Santa Maria di Castello Madonna — of Genoese painting in the period before Barnaba da Modena. The painting, datable to the 1330s must originally have formed part of a pentaptych, and includes one of the oldest authoritative representations of the learned Dominican saint, who was canonized in 1323. Thanks to this work we may now also relate this painter to a later polyptych, dated 1345, with a provenance from Lavagnola, near Savona; it is now in the Cathedral in Albi. Context for the elements found in this rediscovered Dominican polyptych is offered by a survey of early Trecento Ligurian painting, reflecting precocious Giottesque and Sienese influence, and some peculiarities of its own.
After the recent conservation and related study of the Legend of the True Cross frescoed by Agnolo Gaddi in the main chapel of Santa Croce in Florence, scholarly attention now shifts to the other cycle painted by the artist in the Franciscan church: the Stories of Saints Anthony Abbot, John the Baptist, John the Evangelist and Nicholas, as well as figures of Evangelists, Prophets and other Saints in the Castellani Chapel. The author proposes that this cycle postdates the one in the cappella maggiore, noting the emergence of the neo-Giottesque style adopted by Agnolo during the final phase of his career. She reconstructs the relationship between the patrons of the two chapels — the Alberti and the Castellani — within the context of Florentine political history of the 1380s, and recognizes that the iconography of the Castellani Chapel reflects that family’s affiliation with the Guelph oligarchy that controlled the government of the Republic.
The small King Midas painted on copper by Michelangelo Cerquozzi, auctioned at Christie’s London in 2007 and unpublished until now, is the initial component of a reconstruction of the Studiolo of the Roman humanist and abbot Antonio degli Effetti, author of the poetic text Studiolo di pittura nella Galleria della Ricchezza. Discorso d’Antonio degl’Effetti. A second copper, also by Cerquozzi, is published here, bearing a double-sided portrait of the painter with his poet friend Sebastiano Baldini.
An anonymous drawing in the Accademia di San Luca in Rome (inv. no. A.244) reproduces two allegorical figures forming the funerary monument of Pope Alexander VII by Bernini. The subject was assigned for the Third Class in Painting in the Concorso Clementino of 1709. Among the artists participating in the competition that year whose drawings have remained untraced is Pietro Bianchi, a young pupil of Baciccio. The Accademia di San Luca also houses two drawings by Bianchi that relate to the Concorsi Clementini of 1708 and 1711. Archival evidence and stylistic comparisons with the two secure drawings now make it possible to attribute this formerly anonymous drawing to the artist.
The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew formerly in the Astarita collection, Naples, until now believed to have been painted by Hendrick van Somer or possibly Aniello Falcone, prompts a reassessment of the so-called Master of Christ among the Doctors. In fact, the artist’s namepiece (Turin, private collection), first studied by Roberto Longhi in relation to Ribera’s prototype of Christ among the Doctors (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum) and later considered a possible early work by the Master of the Annunciation to the Shepherds, shows a strong Riberesque imprint. Other canvases are here attributed for the first time to this still little-known and interesting Neapolitan painter of the period 1625-1650. He was probably trained in the workshop of Giuseppe di Guido — alias the Master of Fontanarosa — but our anonymous artist is not to be identified with Giuseppe. The influence of Ribera, stronger than that of Battistello Carracciolo, suggests that he was younger than Giuseppe di Guido and more receptive to the new and revolutionary language of Spanish painter.