Thursday, April 27, 2017

Renaissance and Baroque Artists Working "After"

Claude Mellan after Nicolas Poussin
Muse placing Satyr-mask on the face of an Author
ca. 1642
engraving - title-page for an edition of Horace
British Museum

Jan de Bisschop after Daniele da Volterra
Architectural Caryatid
1671
etching
British Museum

Jan de Bisschop after Daniele da Volterra
Architectural Caryatid
1671
etching
British Museum

"It has indeed been argued that such phenomena as mannerism or the baroque, however they may be valued, occur in the development of any art which has reached maturity and, perhaps, overripeness.  In that 'late' phase, the increasingly hectic search for fresh complexities may lead to an 'exhaustion' of the style when all permutations have been tried.  Although there is a certain superficial plausibility in this interpretation, which accounts for some stretches  of historical development, it must never be forgotten that terms such as 'complexity' and 'elements' do not here refer to measurable entities and that even the relationship of means to ends is open to contrasting interpretations.  What may appear to one critic as the classic moment of an art may carry, for another, the seeds of corruption, and what looks like the final stage of exhaustion of a style to one interpreter may be seen from another point of view as the groping beginnings of a new style. . . . It is evident, moreover, that the units, or styles, by which the evolution is traced will always be rather arbitrarily chosen."

 from an article on Style by Ernst Gombrich, originally published in the International Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences (1968)

Andrea Andreani after Giambologna
Abduction of Sabine Women
before 1623
chiaroscuro woodcut printed on multiple panels
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Annibale Carracci after Michelangelo
Figures adapted from Sistine ceiling
before 1605
drawing
Royal Collection, Windsor

Annibale Carracci after Michelangelo
figure of Eliud from Sistine lunette
before 1605
drawing
Royal Collection, Windsor

Cornelis Bloemaert after Annibale Carracci
St Margaret with vanquished Dragon
ca. 1630-50
engraving
British Museum

Cornelis Bloemaert after Guercino
St Peter raising Tabitha
ca. 1630-60
engraving
British Museum

Guercino after Annibale Carracci
Soldier
before 1666
drawing
Royal Collection, Windsor

Sisto Badalocchio after Correggio
St Hilary of Poitiers
ca. 1605-1620
etching of fresco in Duomo, Parma
British Museum

Gio. Ambrogio Figino after Sebastiano del Piombo
 Christ of the Transfiguration
before 1608
drawing
Royal Collection, Windsor

Hendrik van der Borcht after Perino del Vaga
Apollo with Cupid
ca. 1637
etching
British Museum

Jan de Bisschop after Pellergrino Tibaldi
Polyphemus
ca. 1672-89
etching
British Museum

Antonio Gherardi after Andrea Sacchi
Catafalque erected by Jesuits in Rome
ornamented with obelisks and skeletons

1640
etching, engraving
British Museum

Conscientious Renderings by Pietro Santi Bartoli

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Goddess surrounded by standing figures
(copy after Roman mural)

ca. 1660-90
drawing
Royal Collection, Windsor

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Winged female figure from Trajan's Column
(copy after Roman relief) 

ca. 1660-90
drawing
Royal Collection, Windsor

Pietro Santi Bartoli - painter, engraver and etcher, born Villa Bartola, near Perugia, 1635, worked and died Rome, 1700. Prominent in antiquarian circles.  Bartoli transferred early in life to Rome, where he became a pupil of Pierre Lemaire, known as 'Le petit Lemaire' or 'Lemaire-Poussin' (c. 1512-88), and of Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665). After Poussin's death collaborated frequently with Bellori, until he died in 1696, making the drawings and plates of antiquarian objects that were accompanied by Bellori's texts. 

He married a daughter of G.F. Grimaldi (the engraver Farjat, qv, married another). Although he had trained as a painter, he specialised as a draughtsman, excelling as a copyist after the Antique.  In this latter capacity he joined the household of Cardinal Camillo Massimi: two volumes of drawings that he made while in this employment are preserved, one in the University Library, Glasgow, and the other in the College Library, Eton. 

Bartoli is best known as an engraver of antique subjects.  His several volumes of such prints, famous in their day and sometimes running into a number of different editions . . . most were issued with texts written by the famous antiquarian and connoisseur Giovan Pietro Bellori.

 curatorial notes from the British Museum

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Women holding casket, ointment jar, musical instrument
(copy after Roman mural)
ca. 1660-90
drawing
Royal Collection, Windsor

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Adults with children
(copy after Roman mural)

ca. 1660-90
drawing
Royal Collection, Windsor

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Maritime mythological scene
(copy after Roman mural)

ca. 1660-90
drawing
Royal Collection,  Windsor

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Copy after Roman mural ornament
ca. 1660-90
watercolor
Royal Collection, Windsor

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Copy after Roman ceiling decoration
ca. 1660-90
drawing
Royal Collection, Windsor

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Venus surrounded by other deities
(copy after Roman tomb painting, with notes)

1689
drawing
Royal Collection, Windsor

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Jupiter on Eagle
(copy after antique relief)

ca. 1655-70
etching
British Museum

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Four men with a pig on a ball
(copy after antique relief)

ca. 1655-70
engraving
British Museum

Pietro Santi Bartoli after Giulio Romano
Battle of Gods and Giants
(copy after fresco at Palazzo del Te, Mantua)
ca. 1680
etching
British Museum

Pietro Santi Bartoli after Giulio Romano
Giants crushed by boulders
(copy of fresco at Palazzo del Te, Mantua)

ca. 1680
etching
British Museum

Pietro Santi Bartoli after Giulio Romano
Copies of  frescoes at Palazzo del Te, Mantua
ca. 1680
etching (two prints on one plate)
British Museum

Pietro Santi Bartoli after Giulio Romano
St Gregory the Great
writing at the dictation of the Holy Spirit
(visible as a dove on his shoulder)

before 1677
engraving
British Museum

Pietro Santi Bartoli
Copy of antique figure of Fame
ca. 1650-1700
drawing
British Museum

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Battista Franco of Venice

Battista Franco
Striding woman in classical dress beckoning to a man
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
Standing Philosopher
ca. 1557
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
Seated nude youth
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
Sibyl
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

"But since his earnings were scanty and the expenses of Rome very great, after having executed some works on cloth, which had not much success, he retturned to his native country of Venice, thinking by a change of country to change also his fortune. There, by reason of his fine manner of drawing, he was judged to be an able man, and a few days afterwards he was commissioned to execute an altar-piece in oils for the Chapel of Mons. Barbaro, Patriarch-elect of Aquileia, in the Church of S. Francesco della Vigna; in which he painted John baptizing Christ in the Jordan, in the air God the Father, at the foot two little boys who are holding the vestments of Christ. . . . Not long afterwards, when as has been related above, three pictures were given to each of the best and most renowned painters of Venice to paint for the Library of S. Marco, on the condition that he who should acquit himself best in the judgment of those Magnificent Senators was to receive, in addition to the usual payment, a chain of gold, Battista executed in that place three scenes, with two Philosophers between the windows, and acquitted himself very well, although he did not win the prize of honor." 

Battista Franco
Standing female martyr
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
Old man seated warming his hands
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
Seated old man
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

"After these works, having received from the Patriarch Grimani the commission for a chapel in S. Francesco della Vigna, which is the first on the left hand entering into the church, Battista set his hand to it and began to make very rich designs in stucco over the whole vaulting, with scenes of figures in fresco, laboring there with incredible diligence. But  whether it was his own carelessness, or that he had executed some works, perchance on very fresh walls, as I have heard say at the villas of certain gentlemen  before he had that chapel finished, he died, and it remained incomplete."  

– from the Life of Battista Franco (ca. 1510-1561), published in Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Painters in 1568, translated by Gaston du C. de Vere and published in English in 1912

Battista Franco
Standing nude man with torch and classical props
ca. 1530-60
engraving
British Museum

Battista Franco
St Jerome in penitence
ca. 1554-61
etching
British Museum

Battista Franco
St John the Baptist in the wilderness
ca. 1530-60
etching
British Museum

Battista Franco
Bacchantes with Apollo and Daphne
ca. 1530-60
etching
British Museum

Battista Franco
Young men conducting mysterious ritual
ca. 1530-60
etching
British Museum

Battista Franco
Allegory of Wisdom 
ca. 1530-60
etching
British Museum

Battista Franco
Three figures from an ancient cameo
ca. 1530-60
engraving
British Museum

Venetian Draughtsman Battista Franco (ca. 1510-1561)

Battista Franco
Venus and Cupid
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
Draped female figure seated on trophy
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
Nude youth crouching
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

"Battista Franco of Venice, having given his attention in his early childhood to design, went off at the age of twenty, as one who aimed at perfection in that art, to Rome, where, after he had devoted himself for some time with much study to design, and had seen the manner of various masters, he resolved that he would not study or seek to imitate any other works but the drawing, paintings, and sculptures of Michelangelo; wherefore, having set himself to make research, there remained no sketch, study, or even any thing copied by Michelangelo that he had not drawn.  Wherefore no long time passed before he became one of the first draughtsmen who frequented the Chapel of Michelangelo, and, what was more, he would not for a time set himself to paint or to do any other thing but draw."

Battista Franco
Sacrifice of Isaac
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
Tarquin attacking Lucretia
ca. 1536-41
drawing
British Museum

"These Florentine festivities finished, Battista set himself to draw with the greatest industry the statues of Michelangelo that are in the new Sacristy of S. Lorenzo, to which at that time all the painters and sculptors of Florence had flocked to draw and to work in relief; and among these Battista made no little proficience, but, nevertheless, it was recognized that he had committed an error in never consenting to draw from the life and to use colors, or to do anything but imitate statues and little else besides, which had given his manner a hardness and dryness that he was not able to shake off, nor could he prevent his works from having a hard and angular quality, as may be seen from a canvas in which he depicted with much pains and labor the Roman Lucretia violated by Tarquinius." 

Battista Franco
St Jerome in penitence
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
Virgin and Child
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
Gods of Olympus
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum
from the collection of Everhard Jabach, Paris

Battista Franco
Mother of St James and St John addressing Christ
and requesting principal places in heaven for her sons

ca. 1536-41
drawing
British Museum
from the collection of Everhard Jabach, Paris

"Battista then returned to Rome, at the very time when the Judgment of Michelangelo had just been uncovered; and, being a zealous student of the manner and works of that master, he gazed at it very gladly, and in infinite admiration made drawings of it all.  And then, having resolved to remain in Rome, at the commission of Cardinal Francesco Cornaro  who had rebuilt the palace that he occupied beside S. Pietro, which looks out on the portico in the direction of Camposanto  he painted over the stucco a loggia that looks towards the Piazza, making there a kind of grotesques all full of little scenes and figures; which work, executed with much labor and diligence, was held to be very beautiful."

Battista Franco
Composition with six figures
ca. 1530-60
drawing
British Museum

Battista Franco
St John the Baptist in the Wilderness
ca. 1530-60
engraving
British Museum

Battista Franco
Six subjects after antique cameos
ca. 1530-60
etching
British Museum

". . . Battista transferred himself by means of Bartolommeo Genga to the service of the Duke of Urbino, to paint a very large vaulting in the church and chapel attached to the Palace of Urbino. Having arrived there, he set himself straightway to make the designs according as the invention presented itself in the work, without giving it any further thought and without making any compartments.  And so in imitation of the Judgment of Buonarroti, he depicted in a Heaven the Glory of the Saints, who are dispersed over that vaulting on certain clouds, with all the choirs of the Angels about the Madonna, who, having ascended into Heaven, is received by Christ, who is in the act of crowning her, while in various separate groups stand the Patriarchs, the Prophets, the Sibyls, the Apostles, the Martyrs, the Confessors, and the Virgins; which figures, in their different attitudes, reveal their rejoicing at the advent of that Glorious Virgin.  This invention would certainly have given Battista a great opportunity to prove himself an able master, if he had chosen a better way, not only making himself well-practised in fresco-colors, but also proceeding with better order and judgment than he displayed in all his labor. But he used in this work the same methods as in all his others, for he made always the same figures, the same countenances, the same members, and the same draperies; besides which, the coloring was without any charm, and everything labored and executed with difficulty. When all was finished, therefore, it gave little satisfaction to Duke Guidobaldo, Genga, and all the others who were expecting great things form the master, equal to the beautiful design that he had shown them in the beginning; for in truth, in making beautiful designs Battista had no peer and could be called an able man."  

– from the Life of Battista Franco, published in Giorgio Vasari's Lives of the Painters in 1568, translated by Gaston du C. de Vere and published in English in 1912


Battista Franco
Frieze of human skulls
1560s
etching
British Museum

Battista Franco
Three airborne angels with jars
ca. 1530-60
etching
British Museum