Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Melozzo da Forlì and Marco Palmezzano
Fragments from the apse decoration of the Basilica dei Ss. Apostoli (Basilica of the Holy Apostles) which depicted the Ascension, destroyed in 1711:
"Four Apostles' heads" and "Ten pieces of music-making angels" about 1480/81 by Melozzo Ambrosi aka Melozzo da Forlì (1438/94), originally arranged as an early Christian mosaic
"In the naturalistic representation of the angelic hierarchies - as in the determined characterization of earthly faces - portraits of Flemish masters resurface in the memory learned from working in the Urbino circle, while the optical illusion of the figures, boldly 'foreshortened' from below, it ennobles their expressions and attitudes, by introducing the form of a new human 'type' conceived on a heroic and monumental scale, appropriate for the ethical ideal of the Renaissance" (Guido Cornini)
"The Angels and the Apostles by Melozzo, deemed to be unsurpassed examples of the ideal beauty of Renaissance art, evoke in spatiality and realistic perspective and in the light and bright colors the art of Piero della Francesca, in the daring fore-shortenings the unusual angles of vision by Andrea Mantegna and in the attention given to physiognomy - especially of the Apostles - the realism of Flemish painting" (Adele Breda)
Fresco transferred to canvas "Sixtus IV appoints Platina as prefect of the Vatican Library" with from left Giovanni della Rovere, Girolamo Riario, Bartolomeo Sacchi aka Platina, Giuliano della Rovere (later Julius II - 1503/13) and Pietro Riario about 1477 masterpiece of Melozzo Ambrosi aka Melozzo da Forlì
The Vatican Library was conceived by Nicholas V Parentucelli (1447/55), but it was revived and expanded by Sixtus IV della Rovere (1471/84). In 1477 it opened the doors to scholars, becoming the first library since the end of antiquity
"The solemn architectural and perspectival construction, undoubtedly influenced by the Brera altarpiece by Piero della Francesca, does not celebrate the majesty of the usual assembly of holy figures, but it is a tribute to the humanities and the earthly greatness of the Roman pope and his court" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)

"The thrust of the neo-ancient architecture, relentlessly marked by a central column the purpose of which remains unknown just as its scope, the high silence of the vaults, host bodies and faces that can be condensed to pure volumetric acronyms, primary and ovate forms, that have their infallible 'place' in the optic pyramid: theoretical entities and - within the 'reason of perspective' no longer perfectible. Perhaps this is the pinnacle of the Renaissance. Raffaello will already be marked by a human and visual complexity, which will indicate the beginning of the end. From this moment on, for Melozzo the problem becomes to multiply the spatial difficulties, exploring any possible idea, on a mental route, in respect of the theory of Piero della Francesca, similar to that of the Mannerists in respect of Michelangelo’s plasticity" (Flavio Caroli)
"Virgin and Child enthroned between Sts. John the Baptist and Jerome" 1510
"Holy Family with Sts. Elizabeth and John" 1515 all works by Marco Palmezzano (1459/1539) from Forlì, a pupil of Melozzo da Forlì with whom maybe collaborated on the frescoes of the Basilica of the Holy Apostles
"Palmezzano distinguished himself from his teacher Melozzo for a stronger adherence to a syntax derived from the Veneto-Po region, from which he drew inspiration for his 'holy conversation' and to which he will remain connected for the duration of his professional life" ( Guido Cornini)
"Annunciation" about 1522/24 maybe by an artist's of the circle of Almerico Ventura
Wooden statue "Madonna with Child" fifteenth century by the Master of Eastern France gift from Jacques Chirac to John Paul II
Alabaster stone statue "St. Simon" fifteenth century by artist of the school of Nottingham a gift of the President of Côte d'Ivoire Bédié to John Paul II

Ferrara in the second half of the fifteenth century
"Ferrara, where the Lordship of the Este family wasestablished, was specifically involved in the development of Renaissance culture with the differently oriented personalities of Cosmè Tura, Francesco del Cossa and Ercole de' Roberti. Unifying feature of the parable of the three artists is the overcoming of the late Gothic component in the sign of a renewed humanistic tension, which triggered by the works of Donatello and Mantegna in nearby Padua, received new impetus by the passage of Roger van der Weyden and Piero della Francesca in 1450" (Guido Cornini)
Tempera on panel "Adoration of the Magi" by Bernardino di Mariotto (about 1478/1566) from Perugia
"Madonna and Child" maybe by Francesco Raibolini aka Francia (1450/1517)
Four compartments of a predella with "Stories of St. Barbara" fifteenth century by an artist of the Florentine school
"Madonna and Child with St. John" by Marco Basaiti (about 1470/1530) from Venice influenced by Bellini
"Miracles of St. Vincent Ferrer" 1473 by Ercole de' Roberti (about 1450/96) predella of the Griffoni Polyptic by Francesco del Cossa for the altar in S. Petronio in Bologna, whose other parts are now divided between Washington, London and Milan
"In this work the heat from the lesson of Cosmè Tura was cooling as a result of the most noble serenity of Francesco del Cossa. He recovers hierarchies and Renaissance eurythmy, never entirely giving up a corrosive undercurrent of expressionism, which is his unique characteristic, almost a signature of his creations" (Carlo Bertelli, Giuliano Briganti, Antonio Giuliano)
"Hercules takes from his predecessors a taste for cutting-linear profiles, that makes matter thinner and tormented, up to impress on it a mutability of impression almost alchemical, drawing upon the absolute purity of crystal" (Guido Cornini)
Two panels of a predella with "Stories of St. John the Baptist" first half of 1400s by Master of Central Italy
Two compartments of a predella with "Miracles for the intervention of the Immaculate Conception" about 1505/10 by a Lucchese Master aka Master of the Immaculate Conception
"Pietà" about 1520/25 by Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472/1553)
"The evolution of Cranach from the genial expressionism of his early works to the abstract decorativess of the late works by his workshop is in part determined by the needs of production 'in series', but it is also symptomatic of the evolution of German and European art, in the mid of the sixteenth century, towards forms of refined manneristic intellectualism" (Garzantina Arte)
"Madonna with Child" about 1503 by Bartolomeo Montagna (about 1450/1523)
"Madonna and Child with Sts. Bartholomew and Stephen" by Giovanni Battista da Faenza (about 1470/1516)
"St. Catherine free a possessed" fifteenth century by an artist of the Florence school
Huge "Arms of Innocent VIII Cibo (1484/92)" about 1487 by Benedetto Buglioni in glazed polychrome terracotta, formerly in the Belvedere Palace until 1771

Polyptychs of the fifteenth century
"Rospigliosi Triptych": Coronation of the Virgin, Nativity, Adoration of the Magi about 1450 by Bartolomeo da Foligno (about 1400/54)
"Original narrative dimension, where strong accents and expressive intensity of lines live with certain decorative conventions of the last season of the Gothic style" (Guido Cornini)
"St. Sebastian" by a follower of Botticelli
"Polytych: Madonna with Child and Four Saints" 1481 by Vittore Crivelli (about 1442/1501) and assistants
"Pietà" and "Madonna and Child" 1482 by Carlo Crivelli (about 1435/94)
"The figure of the Virgin, marked by pure drawing and an enameled color quality, stands out for the simplification of the ornaments and the search for a psychological resonance inside the cultic image" (Guido Cornini)
"Triptych: Crucifixion with Saints" also known as Trittico di Camerino (Camerino's Triptych) and "Polyptych: Coronation of Mary" by Niccolò di Liberatore aka l'Alunno (about 1430/1502)
"Four panels with saints from a polyptych" early 1400 by the Master of Narni of 1409
Polyptych "St. Anthony between Sts. Sebastian, Christopher, Venancio and Rocco. Pieta among the Sts. Jerome, Peter, Paul and Augustine" 1464 by Antonio Vivarini (about 1420/84) with his brother Bartolomeo Vivarini (1432/active until 1499)
"Among the first to synthesize the tenacious Venetian tradition and the new ideas from the examples of Padua and Ferrara was Antonio Vivarini, founder of a long-lived dynasty of painters, whose work took place in parallel to that, in some ways antithetical, of Jacopo Bellini and his family. They were the ones who converted the painters' scene to the new culture of perspective" (Guido Cornini)
"Four panels of a predella with stories of St. Barbara" by Guidoccio Cozzarelli (1450/1517)
"St. Stephen" early 1400 by the Master of St. Verecondo
The Renaissance in Central Italy before Raphael
"Coronation of the Virgin" 1502/03 by Bernardino di Betto aka Pinturicchio (1454/1513) with the help of G.B. Caporali is now in the Papal Apartment
Detached fresco "Madonna and Child known as Our Lady of the sill" about 1490 maybe by Pinturicchio
"Mystic Marriage of St. Catherine of Alexandria" early 1500 by the school of Pinturicchio
"With his taste for the flamboyant decorative profusion and for anecdotal digression, which combines insightful naturalistic observations with details of pure fantasy, Pinturicchio seems to revive, at the end of the century, the splendor of the Court Gothic style and, in a renewed flare-up of archaeological fever, he draws from the 'old' ornamental repertoire an endless stream of ideas (...) and iconographic schemes" (Antonio Pinelli)
"Madonna and Child with St. John" fifteenth century by an artist of the Umbrian school
"Madonna with Child Blessing" by Andrea d'Assisi aka l'Ingegno (active 1484/1516)
Three panels of a predella with "St. Benedict", "S. Flavia" and "S. Placido" about 1495/99 from the church of S. Pietro in Perugia and "Decemviri Madonna": Madonna and Child with Sts. Lawrence, Louis of Toulouse, Ercolano and Costanzo 1496 by Pietro Vannucci, aka Pietro Perugino (about 1450/1523) for the Decemviri Chapel of the Palazzo dei Priori in Perugia
"The mighty throne (...) is updated from Venetian and Ferrarese models, known during his stays in Venice in the years 1494/95. The insistence on the porch element, instead, is a remainder of Rome and of the humanistic concern for the reconstruction of his classical 'figure', bent, however, to a 'rhetoric' end which adds emphasis and demonstrative force to the spatiality of the painting" (Guido Cornini)
Tempera on panel transferred to canvas "St. Jerome on the throne" by Giovanni Santi (1435/94)
The quality of this painting of the youthful Raphael's father suffers from poor conservation due to moisture and clumsy restorations
"Assumption, Mass of St. Gregory and St. Jerome" 1497 by Antonio Del Massaro aka Antonio da Viterbo or Pastura (about 1450/1516)
"Madonna and Child with Saints" about 1493 by Mariano di Ser Austerio from Perugia
"Madonna of the milk in between Sts. Mary Magdalene and Anthony of Padua" and "Nativity and the arrival of the Magi aka Spineta Madonna" about 1507 by Giovanni di Pietro aka Spagna (about 1450/1528) who was a pupil of Perugino to whom he was in debt for his style
"Annunciation and Saints" 1515 by Nicola Filotesio aka Cola dell'Amatrice (about 1480/1547)
"He adapted in the central panel a picture pattern slightly Raphaelesque, and he indulged, broadly speaking, in the side panels, in visual divagations of a Nordic flavor, to be possibly related to the circulation of prints from Germany" (Guido Cornini)
"St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata" by an artist of the school of Antonio Aquili aka Antoniazzo Romano (about 1435-40/1508)

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