San Nicolò da Tolentino: Study Day in Venice

14 June 2017
Fulvio Lenzo has organized the upcoming study day I Tolentini da convento a università at the IUAV in Venice. The event will examine the history of the church and convent of San Nicolò da Tolentino from its origins as a Theatine church designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi to its current incarnation as the IUAV School of Architecture.

I am looking forward to participating with my talk “‘The First of the Congregation’: From the Tolentini toward a Theatinerarchitektur.” Other speakers will offer detailed looks at key episodes in the history of the church, the convent, and the restorations by Daniele Calabi and Carlo Scarpa.

Download the complete program here or view it on the IUAV website.

San Nicolò da Tolentino, Venice, facade by Andrea Tirali, begun 1706
Photo: Susan Klaiber / Creative Commons License

Fellowships on the Age and the Culture of the Baroque

Deadline 16 July 2017

I am delighted to share this information about the fellowship program for emerging scholars in Baroque studies run by my friends at the Fondazione 1563 per l’Arte e la Cultura in Turin. The topic for this year’s edition is “The Portrait, 1680-1750.” Please use the links below to learn more, and address any questions directly to the Fondazione 1563.

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The Fellowships Program aims to assign individual fellowships to promote original studies on the Age of Baroque, also in an international comparative perspective.

Research proposals for the 2017 call will need to pertain to the following theme:

The Portrait
Mandatory formulas, fortunate source of various models, vehicle of the affirmation of new directions in the narration of identity and in the culture of representation for figures, places, and contexts. The theme of the Portrait (as a genre, a product, an allegory, a testimony, and a memory) may be applied to various disciplines connected to historical, political, philosophical, musical, literary, historical-artistic, and historical-architectural culture, also with regard to art collecting, museology, art literature and treatises. The research proposal, unpublished and original, will need to focus on the period 1680 to 1750, it may follow a diachronic or synchronic approach depending on the scientific requirements of the project.

The competition is open to researchers born after 1st January 1982 holding a university or master’s degree, or other equivalent degrees, issued by an Italian or equivalent foreign University.

Priority will be given to applicants holding a PhD or equivalent from an Italian or foreign university.

Applications will be submitted exclusively using the forms available online and following the procedure indicated on the Foundation’s website under Bandi/ Borse di studio sull’Età e la Cultura del Barocco 2017 at www.fondazione1563.it.

Applications must be submitted by 16 July 2017 at h 24.00 (midnight).

Important: For the complete Notice of Competition for the fellowships, consult the PDFs in English or Italian.

A Souvenir Shroud of Turin

Replica of the Shroud of Turin, possibly 19th century, Italian, painted cloth, H. 7 3/4″ x W. 21″ (19.7 x 53.3 cm)
Gift of Coudert Brothers, 1888
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 88.3.45

With Easter approaching, the annual sindonology season is upon us. This year’s curiosity comes from the vast, encyclopedic collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York: a miniature replica of the Shroud of Turin. While the original relic is around 4.5 meters long, this small version measures just over a half-meter in length.

According to the museum’s catalogue record, the replica is painted on the cloth and was acquired in 1888. The image of the Shroud – complete with the burn marks from the fire in Chambéry in 1532 – is surrounded with a floral border, an inscription, images of symbols and instruments of the passion at the corners, and two baskets of flowers at either side. The textile probably dates to the nineteenth century, and must have been intended as a devotional souvenir for pious pilgrims to the venerated relic.

The Metropolitan Museum also holds a photographic souvenir of the Shroud of Turin in its collection. The negative image of the face on the textile was taken by Giuseppe Enrie and dates to the 1931 ostension of the Shroud. The museum’s website offers an extremely informative catalogue entry on the photo and its context in Enrie’s career.

The video below gives a glimpse of the souvenirs available for contemporary pilgrims to the relic.


A souvenir stand at a recent ostension of the Shroud

Guercino and the Theatines

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Guercino, Madonna with the Saints John the Evangelist and Gregory the Wonderworker, c. 1630 (San Vincenzo, Modena).
Image: Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Earlier this month, Italian media reported (here, here, or here) that a stolen painting by Guercino (Giovanni Francesco Barbieri) of the Madonna with Saints John the Evangelist and Gregory the Wonderworker had been recovered in Casablanca. The altarpiece disappeared from San Vincenzo in Modena in August 2014, prompting heavy criticism of security measures at the former Theatine church. San Vincenzo happens to be the home church of Guarino Guarini, where he first joined the Theatine order as a novice in November 1639, and to which he returned for his ordination and first years as a priest beginning in 1647.

The altarpiece had been commissioned by the d’Este family in Modena – perhaps during the brief reign of Duke Alfonso III d’Este in the late 1620s. The painting was completed and installed in the first chapel on the left, dedicated to St. Gregory, in 1630.

This thus makes it the earliest of three works by the painter from Cento commissioned for Theatine churches in the region. An altarpiece of The Vocation of Saint Aloysius (Luigi) Gonzaga, dated c. 1650, was originally located in the right transept of the Theatines’ Santa Maria del Castello in Guastalla, and is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.  It too was a prestigious ducal commission, in this case by by Duke Ferrante III Gonzaga. The unusual inclusion of a beatified Jesuit in a Theatine church can be explained by the duke’s desire to promote the cult of his distant relative, canonized only in 1726. Guarini would have seen the painting in December 1656, when he is recorded in Guastalla (Sandonnini 494-495).

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Guercino, The Vocation of Saint Aloysius (Luigi) Gonzaga, ca. 1650
Image: Metropolitan Museum of Art / public domain

The third altarpiece by Guercino (1591-1666) at a Theatine church in his native region is found in Santa Maria della Pietà in Ferrara. The painting depicting the Purification of the Virgin was commissioned by the lawyer Claudio Bertazzoli for his family chapel in the church in 1654, with the final payment recorded the following year. The painting remains in the church today, the third altar on the left.

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Guercino, Virgin and Child with Four Saints, ca. 1649.51
Image: Louvre / Wikimedia Commons / public domain

Of course, the Theatines were not the only people or institution in what is now present-day Emilia-Romagna to commission works by the accomplished local artist. Much of the responsibility for the commissions mentioned here resided with their wealthy or aristocratic patrons. For instance, in 1649 the d’Este ordered another painting from the artist for the church of San Pietro Martire in Modena (today in the Louvre). This altarpiece depicts the Madonna and Child with the four patron saints of Modena: San Geminiano, San Giovanni Battista, San Giorgio, and San Pietro Martire.

The central years of Guercino’s career also happened to coincide with the construction and furnishing of these churches begun exactly four centuries ago: the one in Guastalla was founded in 1616, while those in Modena and Ferrara were both founded in 1617. Although a general overview of seventeenth-century Theatine artistic policies remains to be written, these three examples show the order readily welcomed works of the highest quality when appropriate donors provided the necessary financial backing.

One big question remains: where should the painting recovered in Morocco go when it returns to Modena? According to the Gazzetta di Modena, the church of San Vincenzo still lacks adequate security measures. Some have suggested displaying it in a local museum such as the Galleria Estense, at least temporarily. In the meantime, the diocese is exploring ways to improve security at all of its churches.

By the way, the exhibition Guercino a Piacenza opens 4 March 2017 and runs until 4 June at the Palazzo Farnese in Piacenza. It also offers the opportunity to climb the dome of the cathedral to view the artist’s frescoes there up close.

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Further reading:

Daniela Sinigalliesi, “La Madonna in trono con San Giovanni Evangelista e San Gregorio Taumaturgo di Giovanni Francesco Barbieri detto il Guercino,” in E. Corradini, E. Garzillo, G. Polidori, eds., La chiesa di San Vincenzo a Modena. Ecclesia Divi Vincentii, Modena: Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena, 2001, pp. 136-141.

William M. Griswold, “Guercino“: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, v. 48, no. 4 (Spring, 1991): 38-40.

Barbara Ghelfi, “Il talento naturale e la ricerca dell’equilibrio. Il Guercino a Ferrara,” MuseoinVita.

Open Access Sources on Guarini and Piedmontese Baroque Architecture

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Three Free Downloads
Birthdays are for celebrating and for birthday presents. So to mark the birthday of Guarino Guarini (born 17 January 1624), this post highlights three useful publications on the architect that are freely available online. The first two are traditionally included in any bibliography on Guarini and Piedmontese Baroque architecture, and the third one should be more widely known. Two of the items date to the heyday of studies on Piedmontese Baroque in the 1960s, while the third represents the state of Guarini scholarship at the turn of the millennium. All are hosted by generous institutional repositories: two at universities, and the third at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. As for language, there’s something for everyone, take your pick of German, Italian, or English.

1. Maria Anderegg-Tille, Die Schule Guarinis (Winterthur: P. G. Keller, 1962).
andereggtilleThis study originated as a dissertation at the ETH Zürich. It focuses primarily on architects operating and buildings constructed in Guarini’s wake in late seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century Piedmont. Some projects discussed, however, are directly tied to Guarini himself. Wittkower deemed it a “somewhat pedantic work, based on the categories developed by A. E. Brinckmann half a century before.” Yet it remains useful as one of the few publications to consider neglected projects such as the model for San Giacomo Maggiore in Campertogno or the chapel in Gerbido.

Download (17 MB)

2. Carlo Brayda, Laura Coli, and Dario Sesia, “Specializzazioni e vita professionale nel sei e settecento in Piemonte” and “Ingegneri e architetti del Sei e Settecento in Piemonte,” Atti e Rassegna Tecnica / Società Degli Ingegneri e Degli Architetti in Torino n.s. 17:3 (1963): 73-174.
brayda-coli-sesiaWittkower described this lengthy article as “731 names with brief biographies and chronological oeuvre catalogues. Extremely useful.” Although some of the information here is outdated (or was inaccurate to begin with, such as the specious attribution of Sant’Andrea in Bra to Bernini and Guarini, based on campanilismo), the catalogue remains the only convenient source of information on many minor architects of the Piedmontese Baroque. On Guarini, see pp. 113-114.

Download (75 MB)
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Generic License.

 

3. Martha Pollak, “Guarino Guarini (1624-1683),” in The Mark J. Millard Architectural Collection, Volume IV: Italian and Spanish Books, Fifteenth through Nineteenth Centuries (Washington DC: National Gallery of Art, 2000): 178-183.
pollak-millardAn interesting account of Guarini’s career centered on his architectural treatise Architettura civile, published posthumously in 1737. Martha Pollak is one of the leading scholars of Piedmontese Baroque architecture and urbanism, and she provides valuable personal interpretive accents.
As a bonus, do take a look at the other three volumes cataloging the Mark Millard Architectural Collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington: Vol. I: French Books; vol. II: British Books; and vol. III: Northern European Books.

Download (177 MB)

Fortuna del Barocco Conference Recap

The following material, mostly pulled from social media, offers a glimpse of the proceedings at the conference Fortuna del Barocco in Italia: Le grandi mostre del Novecento held in Turin last week (28-29 November 2016). Click here for the conference program. Thanks again to the conference convenors, Michela di Macco and Giuseppe Dardanello, as well as the Compagnia di San Paolo and the Fondazione 1563 per l’Arte e la Cultura for organizing and sponsoring such a stimulating event.

Monday, 28 November 2016

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Tuesday, 29 November 2016

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The screening of a film documenting the legendary exhibition L’idea del Bello. Viaggio per Roma nel Seicento con Giovan Pietro Bellori (Rome, 2000) concluded the conference, before the closing discussion.

Postscript

Fortuna del Barocco in Italia

Historiography of Baroque Art in Twentieth-Century Exhibitions

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As part of its Programma di studi sull’Età e la Cultura del Barocco, the Fondazione 1563 per l’Arte e la Cultura has organized the upcoming conference Fortuna del Barocco in Italia: Le grandi mostre del Novecento (Turin, 28-29 November 2016).

The conference, based on a related research project headed by Michela di Macco and Giuseppe Dardanello, will examine issues concerning the reception of Baroque painting, sculpture, and architecture in twentieth-century exhibitions. The first day of the conference features a special emphasis on the exhibitions of Piedmontese Baroque art and architecture in 1937, 1963, and 1989, as well as exhibitions of Baroque sculpture and architecture in general. The entire second day of the conference will be devoted to exhibitions of Italian Baroque painting as reflected in shows focusing on the various regional schools in places like Bologna or Naples.

Speakers include Tomaso Montanari and Joseph Connors, and special appearances will be made by the grandes dames of Piedmontese Baroque studies, Andreina Griseri and Mercedes Viale Ferrero. I am delighted to be participating as a respondent for the discussion of architectural exhibitions.

Download the conference program for full information about schedule and venue, as well as the contact for RSVP (by 23 November).


Newsreel clip showing the eighteenth-century Peota Bucintoro gondola of the Savoy being transported to the Palazzo Carignano, Turin, for the 1937 exhibition Mostra del Barocco Piemontese
Source: Cinecittà Luce / YouTube

Histories in Conflict: Cities | Buildings | Landscapes

Jerusalem: panoramic view taken from the Mount of Olives, photograph by Joseph Philibert Girault de Prangey Source: Gallica / Bibliothèque nationale de France

Jerusalem: panoramic view taken from the Mount of Olives, photograph by Joseph Philibert Girault de Prangey
Source: Gallica / Bibliothèque nationale de France

EAHN 2017, Jerusalem: Call for Papers

Van Leer Jerusalem Institute, Jerusalem
13-15 June 2017

The European Architectural History Network is pleased to announce its Third Thematic Conference Urban Histories in Conflict. On the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem and the contentious unification it legislated, the conference aims to open up questions about the purpose of writing histories of urban conflicts. We ask how can historians account for the predicaments of violence and uneven distributions of power in the built environment, particularly in the face of current worldwide geo-political crises.

Download the full call for papers or consult the EAHN website for the latest conference updates.

Key Dates: abstract submission by 2 December 2016, full papers due by 1 May 2017.

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Reminder:

The EAHN Fifth International Meeting (Tallinn, 13-16 June 2018) Call for Session Proposals deadline is 12 December 2016. Download the call for sessions, or visit the conference website for more information.

Tallinn (Reval), by Matthäus Merian, 1640Source: ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv / Fotograf: Unbekannt / Fel_038335-RE / Public Domain Mark

Tallinn (Reval), by Matthäus Merian, 1640
Source: ETH-Bibliothek Zürich, Bildarchiv / Fotograf: Unbekannt / Fel_038335-RE / Public Domain Mark

Perceptions of Architecture in Early Modern Europe

Conference at Durham University, 5 November 2016

ledoux-eyeKimberley Skelton has organized a fascinating conference on architecture and the early modern viewer with ten papers to be presented on topics ranging across Europe from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. Maurice Howard will deliver the keynote address, speaking on “Buildings Observed in Early Modern England.” I am delighted to be participating with my talk entitled “Inside Out: Situating the Theatine Interior.” It examines a mid-eighteenth-century guidebook to the houses of the Theatine order written specifically for the members of the order.

The complete conference program may be consulted on the website of the Institute of Medieval and Early Modern Studies at Durham University, or as a PDF download with the registration form. The registration deadline is 26 October 2016.

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From the conference description:

Across discourses and media, early modern Europeans encountered advice about and models for interacting with the built environment around them. Architects scattered brief instructions for designing a viewer’s experience throughout their treatises, poets narrated imagined tours of house and estate, and artists who composed prints and paintings of buildings located viewers at particular vantage points. Simultaneously, philosophers and scientists debated human perception of the physical world at large – for example, explanation first by Aristotelian Scholastics and then mechanistic philosophers of how particle vibrations acted upon the human senses to create mental images of objects. Such architectural, philosophical, and scientific discussions had their echoes in self-reflective viewing of buildings by travellers who described in their journals the buildings that they visited.

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From my presentation: Georg Balthasar Probst, Vüe du Pont Neuf, vers le pont Royal, a Paris, 1740.
Source: Gallica / Bibliothèque nationale de France

Baroque Turin in Study Sketches

Piedmontese Baroque architecture – indeed any Baroque architecture – never figured widely in the drawings prepared by nineteenth-century architects on study tours of Italy. With the increasing availability of open access digitized image collections, one can search and compare thousands of such sketches and more formal studies in repositories such as Gallica, the architecture museums of the TU Munich or TU Berlin*, and the Massachusetts Digital Commonwealth collection. These sheets typically depict monuments of classical antiquity, the medieval period, or the Renaissance, but occasionally one finds examples recording Baroque buildings or urban ensembles.

A selection of such rare representations of Baroque Turin follows, including two cases of medieval / Baroque hybrid structures: Palazzo Madama, and Juvarra’s upper story and attic for the cathedral bell tower.**

Palazzo Barolo

Nohl Maximilian (1830-1863), Palazzo Barolo, Turin: Perspektivische Innenansicht. Bleistift auf Papier, 20,6 x 30,7 cm (inkl. Scanrand). Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität Berlin Inv. Nr. 13931.

Nohl Maximilian (1830-1863), Palazzo Barolo, Turin: Perspektivische Innenansicht. Bleistift auf Papier, 20,6 x 30,7 cm (inkl. Scanrand). Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität Berlin Inv. Nr. 13931. Public domain mark.

Palazzo Madama / Castello

Nohl Maximilian (1830-1863), Palazzo Madama, Turin: Ansicht. Bleistift auf Karton, 12,2 x 17 cm. Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität Berlin Inv. Nr. 13895.

Nohl Maximilian (1830-1863), Palazzo Madama, Turin: Ansicht. Bleistift auf Karton, 12,2 x 17 cm. Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität Berlin Inv. Nr. 13895. Public domain mark.

Stiehl Otto (1860-1940), Skizzen- und Fotoalbum 4: Palazzo delle due torri, Turin: Details. Bleistift auf Papier, (inkl. Scanrand). Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität Berlin Inv. Nr. 57189,008.

Stiehl Otto (1860-1940), Skizzen- und Fotoalbum 4: Palazzo delle due torri, Turin: Details. Bleistift auf Papier, (inkl. Scanrand). Architekturmuseum der Technischen Universität Berlin Inv. Nr. 57189,008. Public domain mark.

Palazzo Civico / Piazza Palazzo di Città

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Karl Ludwig Wilhelm von Zanth, “Mercato delle Erbe” in Turin
Source: Architekturmuseum der TU München, Signatur zant-1-27 , CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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Henri Labrouste, Plan de la Municipalité de turin [sic] et de la place du Marché qui la précède, from Voyage en Italie, 1825-1830
Source: Gallica /Bibliothèque nationale de France

Castello del Valentino

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Henri Labrouste, Le Valentin, près Turin, from Voyage en Italie, 1825-1830
Source: Gallica / Bibliothèque nationale de France

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Edward Lear, “From the long alley’s latticed shade”; Turin, (Italy.), after 1872. Not an architect, Lear prepared this drawing for his edition of the poems of Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Source: Yale Center for British Art. Public domain.

Palazzo dell’Università

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Henri Labrouste, Musée [entre les] Contrada del Po [et] Contrada della Zecca, from Voyage en Italie, 1825-1830
Source: Gallica / Bibliothèque nationale de France

Palazzo Trucchi di Levaldigi

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Henri Labrouste, Palais [à l’angle de deux rues, dont la] Contrada di S. Carlo, from Voyage en Italie, 1825-1830
Source: Gallica / Bibliothèque nationale de France

Campanile del Duomo

Green, Campanile, Turin, Digital Commonweath

James C. Green, Campanile, Turin, c. 1891
Source: Boston Architectural College Library / Digital Commonwealth, CC BY 3.0

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Notes:

* Kudos to the Architekturmuseum der TU Berlin for its recently implemented public domain policy and the convenient metadata attached to its image files.

** I have consciously omitted from this selection the numerous drawings of Turin available in the Joconde database by the French artists Prosper Barbot and Pierre-Adrien Pâris, and may return to them in the future.