Still Essential: Tommaso Sandonnini on Guarino Guarini

Fundamental Study Available Open Access

Sandonnini Guarini

Tommaso Sandonnini, Del Padre Guarino Guarini, Chierico Regolare (Modena: Vincenzi e nipoti, 1890).
Source: Internet Culturale

In 1890, the Modenese archivist Tommaso Sandonnini published a lengthy article on Guarino Guarini in the local history journal Atti e memorie delle RR. Deputazioni di storia patria per le provincie modenesi e parmensi. The text, entitled “Il padre Guarino Guarini modenese,” provided the first modern biography of the Theatine architect, an impartial account of his life based on archival sources. The same year, the study was issued as a stand-alone booklet (or offprint) of 54 pages, with a slightly altered title: Del Padre Guarino Guarini, Chierico Regolare (Modena: Vincenzi e nipoti, 1890). The contents of the two versions are identical.

On the basis of the Modena archives, Sandonnini’s investigation traces Guarini’s family origins and youth in Modena up to the point he left for Rome in 1639 for his novitiate in the Theatine order at San Silvestro al Quirinale. Sandonnini resumes his narrative with Guarini’s return to Modena for ordination in 1647, and follows Guarini’s early years as a priest at San Vincenzo, Modena, through the 1650s. Sandonnini notes Guarini’s visit to his dying mother in summer 1662, and presents information regarding his time in Paris via letters from the Vigarani preserved in the Modena archives. The archivist publishes correspondence between Guarini and figures of the d’Este court during the 1670s and 1680s. Other sections of the study give an overview of Guarini’s published books and major architectural projects. Sandonnini fails to recognize Guarini’s role in the design of the Theatine casa of San Vincenzo in Modena, but he posits the Theatine’s involvement in campaigns at the Palazzo Ducale, Modena (a theory since viewed with scepticism). In any case, he avoids a judgmental assessment of the baroque architect, in marked contrast to most 19th-century writing on Guarini’s architectural work.

Tommaso Sandonnini (1849-1926) studied law and worked as a notary before becoming director of the Archivio Storico Comunale in Modena in 1897. In this capacity, he was active in archaeological and preservation efforts in the city, and wrote numerous studies on a range of historical topics, particularly those involving Modena.

An extensive review of Sandonnini’s study by Natale Baldoria appeared the same year in Archivio storico dell’arte 3 (1890): 221-23. Baldoria opens his essay with some historiographic reflections on the study of Baroque art and architecture (“Soltanto da poco tempo incomincia ad essere studiata senza preconcetti, obiettivamente, la Storia dell’arte… Così gli artisti e le opere di quell’epoca [barocco], che tanto contribuirono colle loro invenzioni anche al progresso dell’ arte moderna, sono degni di studio e tali che sarebbe delitto se la storia non li ricordasse o li spregiasse.”) He thus acknowledged the radical break of Sandonnini’s article with previous discussions of Guarini. Nearly seventy years later, in 1958, Wittkower still deemed Sandonnini’s Guarini “An important study.”

Today, another sixty years down the road, Sandonnini’s article remains as fundamental as ever. Along with the works of Alessandro Baudi di Vesme and Augusta Lange who explored the archives in Turin, it furnishes the essentail documentary basis for Guarini’s life and career.

Thanks to Italy’s wonderful Internet Culturale and the Biblioteca civica Ubaldo Mazzini in La Spezia, the booklet version of Sandonnini’s study is now available open access online, and may be downloaded as a PDF for non-commercial use.

Download

Tommaso Sandonnini, Del Padre Guarino Guarini, Chierico Regolare (Modena: Vincenzi e nipoti, 1890). [90 MB]

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On Sandonnini’s life and writings, see Giulio Bertoni, “Tommaso Sandonnini, 1849-1926” and Giovanni Canevazzi, “Bibliografia di Tommaso Sandonnini,” Atti e memorie della R. Deputazione di storia patria per le provincie modenesi, Ser. 7, vol. 5 (1928): 7-28 and 29-42.

EAHN 2018 Program Available and Registration Open

Fifth International Meeting of the European Architectural History Network
Tallinn, 13-16 June 2018

The detailed program for the European Architectural HIstory Network (EAHN) Fifth International Meeting is now available on the conference website. Conference events include keynote talks by Christine Stevenson, Krista Kodres, and Reinhold Martin, as well as a fascinating program of tours around Tallinn and other sites in Estonia. Twenty-eight panels and roundtables, organized in five sessions and five thematic tracks, furnish rich content across a range of periods, methodologies, and geographies.

Conference registration is open, with special early bird registration rates available until 30 March. Late registration at higher rates will be available until 20 May. The conference website has complete information about registration categories and rates.

Antico/Moderno. Parigi, Roma, Torino 1680-1750

Research Project Website Online

For the past two years, the Fondazione 1563 per l’Arte e la Cultura has supported the research project Antico/Moderno. Parigi, Roma, Torino 1680-1750, which comprises several different strands of historiographic inquiry on the baroque, all coordinated by the scientific directors Michela di Macco and Giuseppe Dardanello. It has been a privilege for me to be involved in this stimulating initiative with such an inspiring group of scholars.

As the various working groups gradually wrap up their activities, the Fondazione 1563 has launched new webpages describing the research and presenting the resulting outputs. The project homepage outlines the components of the initiative. Each component, in turn, has its own webpage. Additional pages document the research outputs, in the form of videos and publications. To date, these include:

Conference Videos: Fortuna del Barocco in Italia. Le grandi mostre del Novecento

For those who missed the conference Fortuna del Barocco in Italia: Le grandi mostre del Novecento in November 2016, all introductions, papers, and responses from the meeting may now be viewed in fourteen videos. A separate volume of conference proceedings is forthcoming in the series Quaderni di Ricerca of the Fondazione 1563.

The opening remarks for the conference (video below) by the late Rosaria Cigliano, president of the Fondazione 1563, are particularly poignant after her premature death last month.

The conference examined issues concerning the reception of Baroque painting, sculpture, and architecture in twentieth-century exhibitions in Italy, with a special emphasis on Piedmont. For a summary of the conference contributions, see my earlier post on the subject.

Video Reconstructions of Historic Exhibitions, 1937 and 1963

The project component Barocco in Piemonte – Barocco in Europa: a cinquant’anni dalla mostra del 1963 involved several scholars working together with a seminar of students at the Università di Torino in order to reassess the history, historiography, and reception of the two large exhbitions of Piedmontese baroque art and architecture organized by Vittorio Viale in 1937 and 1963. Under the guidance of Sara Abram and Giuseppe Dardanello, the students worked to reconstruct the nearly forgotten exhibition of 1937, and compare it with the intervening evolution of the field as manifested in the second exhibition twenty-six years later. A forthcoming volume in the series Quaderni di Ricerca will publish this work, along with additional framing essays by established scholars.

Abram and Dardanello presented initial results of this research at the conference Fortuna del Barocco in Italia in the form of videos reconstructing the two exhibitions. The Fondazione 1563 has made both films available online as well as a third video introducing the reconstructions (below).

La Riscoperta del Seicento. I libri fondativi

The first in a series of six volumes produced by the Antico/Moderno teams, La Riscoperta del Seicento. I libri fondativi, edited by Andrea Bacchi and Liliana Barroero, publishes the contributions to a three-part seminar held in Rome in spring 2016. Covering the late nineteenth through late twentieth centuries, each of the sixteen essays revisits a fundamental text of the art and architectural history of the Baroque, and situates it within the international historiography on the period.

For more information, view the publisher’s flyer or the table of contents.

More to come…

Stay tuned in the coming months for additional research outputs from this initiative.

Bernini disegnatore

The proceedings of the conference Bernini disegnatore: nuove prospettive di ricerca – held in Rome in April 2015 – have now been published. The collection includes initial results of my collaboration with Tod Marder on his new edition of Heinrich Brauer and Rudolf Wittkower, Die Zeichnungen des Gianlorenzo Bernini, 2 vols. (Berlin: Keller, 1931). Our essay examines the historiography of Brauer and Wittkower’s classic catalogue of Bernini’s drawings, and situates it within the intellectual biographies of its authors. Other contributions consider the history of the various repositories of Bernini’s drawings, the typologies of Bernini’s drawings, and case studies of drawings for specific projects by the artist.

From the publisher’s description:

I disegni del Bernini offrono una prospettiva privilegiata, un’opportunità di affrontare l’arte del cavaliere nella sua universalità come scultore, pittore e architetto, ma anche come inventore per le arti decorative, e ci permettono uno sguardo intimo nel laboratorio del genio, capace di adattare le sue invenzioni a circostanze in continua evoluzione e alle domande pressanti dei suoi committenti. Mentre l’esecuzione dei grandi progetti era delegata sempre più a una schiera di collaboratori altamente specializzati, il tratto personalissimo dei disegni ci riporta alla mano e al pensiero del Bernini. Sono disegni preparatori che fanno trasparire l’iter concettuale di occasioni grandi e piccole, ma anche studi di struggente naturalismo, ritratti parlanti di straordinaria vivacità e quei grandi disegni autonomi dell’ultimo Bernini, ormai non più semplice segno grafico ma strumento di contemplazione mistica.

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Sybille Ebert-Schifferer, Tod A. Marder, Sebastian Schütze, editors, Bernini disegnatore: nuove prospettive di ricerca, Storia dell’Arte (Rome: Campisano Editore, 2017).

C O N T E N T S

Prefazione – Sybille Ebert-Schifferer, Tod A. Marder, Sebastian Schütze

1. STORIOGRAFIA E STORIA DEI FONDI BERNINIANI

Brauer and Wittkower and the Corpus Berninianum – Susan Klaiber, Tod A. Marder

Wittkower, Bernini e il Gran Teatro del Barocco: il «progettar disegnando», la Verità e l’esempio del Pantheon – Marcello Fagiolo

I disegni di Giovan Lorenzo Bernini nelle collezioni dell’Istituto Centrale per la Grafica: considerazioni sul volume Gualtieri-Corsini – Rita Bernini

I disegni di Bernini e della sua scuola nella Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Barbara Jatta

Il disegno nell’epistolario di Giovan Lorenzo Bernini – Giovanni Morello

2. TIPOLOGIA DEI DISEGNI

Bernini and the Creative Process: The Presentation Drawings – Louise Rice

I disegni del Cavaliere: l’arte del dono e i suoi rituali tra amicizia, familiarità e grande diplomazia – Sebastian Schütze

Le fontane di Bernini: disegni e bozzetti – Maria Grazia Bernardini

Bernini e il disegno di architettura – Elisabeth Kieven

Die ›fehlenden‹ Architekturzeichnungen Berninis. Kunstgeschichtliche Probleme und Verallgemeinerungen: Berninis ›kursierende Gedanken‹ – Werner Oechslin

Bernini per Parigi: disegnare progetti «dal vero» – Daniela Del Pesco

3. PROGETTO E PROGETTAZIONE

«Quatuor columnis non plus ultra»: Giovan Lorenzo Bernini e i disegni per il baldacchino di San Pietro a Roma (1624-1633) – Maria Grazia D’Amelio

Bernini inventore. Disegni berniniani per arti decorative – Francesco Petrucci

A Proposal for Two Drawings by Bernini in Leipzig – Ann Sutherland Harris

Giovan Lorenzo Bernini e l’elefante della Minerva: la storia e i personaggi attraverso i disegni della Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Manuela Gobbi

Entangled Histories, Multiple Geographies Proceedings Published

Papers from EAHN 2015, Belgrade

Most of the papers presented in October 2015 at the European Architectural History Network regional thematic conference Entangled Histories, Multiple Geographies are now available in the conference proceedings. At just over 300 pages, the proceedings include thirty-seven papers, many with numerous illustrations.

Contributions consider chronologies from ancient, medieval, and early modern through modern and contemporary, with topics examining issues such as cultural transfer, historiography, restoration, identity, and the politics of conflict. The conference featured a distinct emphasis on central and eastern Europe, as well as the eastern Mediterranean region, although other geographies were also represented.

Click here to download the EAHN 2015 proceedings.

Interviewing Historians of Art and Architecture

Sources for Interviews, Conversations, and Oral Histories

This summer, the College Art Association (CAA) launched a new monthly series of interviews with artists, art historians, theorists, and other art professionals. The first interview, in June, was with art historian Linda Nochlin. The second, in July, with the theorist Lev Manovich. I noted the new series with great interest, since one of my current projects involves interviewing distinguished architectural historians and preparing transcripts of the conversations for publication (more on this project in the coming months). The CAA Conversations join a substantial body of interviews and oral histories documenting the disciplines of art history and architectural history, some of which date back a half century. Since I have found no central catalogue for this material, it seemed useful to collect links to relevant resources in this post.

The list presented here is highly subjective and limited to interviews available open access online. The conversations vary greatly in length, scope, and method. With some exceptions, only interviews with transcripts have been included. I ignored promotional interviews for book releases or upcoming events, instead looking for reflections on the history of the discipline, historiography, and other big questions. The selection is skewed to historians of pre-modern and early modern topics, with few conversations focusing purely on contemporary art and architecture. Anglophone sources predominate, only because little seems available in other languages. Some interviews were conducted decades ago, in the 1960s through 1990s, while others record more recent conversations. The links are grouped into interviews conducted by organizations, institutions, journals, and other publications.

Organizations

● College Art Association
The new CAA Conversations include a video and a transcript of the fifteen to twenty-minute interviews.

● Association for Art History (formerly Association of Art Historians)
The British professional organization for art history AAH (currently in the process of changing its name and design identity) has undertaken two interview projects in recent years. The first, AAH Oral Histories, consists of conversations with sixteen scholars involved in establishing and administering the organization from its foundation in 1974 (no transcripts available). The second, entitled Day in the Life of an Art Historian, comprises online interviews with a wide range of art historical professionals, each of whom answers ten standard questions about their day-to-day practice of the discipline.

Institutions

● Archives of American Art
As described on the website of the Smithsonian affiliate, “The Archives of American Art has one of the oldest and most respected oral history collections in the country.” Begun in 1958, the program has interviewed several dozen art historians, with transcripts available for twenty-eight interviews. The site also includes resources for oral history available to download (such as guidelines and sample questions).

● Dumbarton Oaks
The Harvard research center for Byzantine, Pre-Columbian, and Garden and Landscape Studies describes its oral history project as follows: “The Oral History Project at Dumbarton Oaks was begun in 2008 with the mission of interviewing and recording all people who are or have been significantly associated with Dumbarton Oaks and/or its founders, Mildred and Robert Woods Bliss.” Transcripts of over 120 conversations are currently available.

● UCLA / Getty Art History Oral Documentation Project
As described on the project webpage: “This series, a cooperative venture between the [UCLA] Oral History Program and the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, documents a generation of scholars who developed and elaborated paradigms of art history established in the late nineteenth century to forge a twentieth-century discipline.” Transcripts of eighteen interviews conducted between 1991 and 1995 are available.

● Getty Art History Oral Documentation Project
Twenty-two additional interviews conducted by the Getty Center for the History of Art and the Humanities between 1994 and 2001. The scope is comparable to that of its joint project with UCLA (above).

Journals

Architectural Histories
The open-access journal of the European Architectural History Network (EAHN) has published two interviews with scholars: James S. Ackerman and Kenneth Frampton. Future conversations will be included in the journal’s interview rubric.

Journal of Art Historiography
To date, the Journal of Art Historiography has published two interviews with scholars: Michael Baxandall and Donald Preziosi.

Perspective
The in-house journal of the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA), Paris, has published seven interviews with scholars: Hubert Damisch, James Elkins, Tonio Hölscher, Jean-Paul Leclercq, Michel Melot, Jennifer Montagu, and Linda Nochlin.

Miscellaneous Publications

Brooklyn Rail
The arts journal published an interview with Barbara Novak in April 2007, and a particularly fascinating interview with Willibald Sauerländer in February 2010.

Enfilade
The serial newsletter of the Historians of Eighteenth-Century Art and Architecture published an interview with Mary Sheriff in July 2010.

Forma de Vida
This online journal published by the program in literary theory at the University of Lisbon presented a conversation with Jennifer Montagu in its issue no. 5, January 2015.

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Have I missed something? Please use the contact form to send ideas for future updates to this list.

Call for Papers: EAHN 2018 in Tallinn

European Architectural History Network Fifth International Meeting, 13-16 June 2018

Tallinn, Toompea moat
Source: Europeana Collections / Harjumaa Muuseum / Public Domain (CC0 1.0)

Although I am not involved with planning the next biennial EAHN conference, I am delighted to note the rich and stimulating Call for Papers for the Fifth International Meeting in Tallinn next year. The conference website describes the twenty-seven panels in detail. If you prefer a PDF, download it here. Take a look, there’s something for (almost) everybody!

Submission deadline: 30 September 2017

Abstracts are invited for the fifth European Architectural History Network International Meeting, in Tallinn, June 2018. Please submit your abstract by 30 September 2017 to one of the sessions and round tables listed below. Abstracts of no more than 300 words should be submitted straight to the session convenor(s). Include your name, affiliation, title of paper or position, a C.V. of no more than five pages, home and work addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers.

Sessions will consist of either five papers or of four papers and a respondent with time for questions and dialogue at the end. Each paper should take no more than 20 minutes to present. Abstracts for session presentations should define the subject and summarize the argument to be made in the presented paper. The content of that paper should be the product of well-documented original research that is primarily analytical and interpretive rather than descriptive.

Round tables will have no more than six participants plus chairs and an extended time for dialogue, debate and discussion among participants and their public. Each discussant will have 10 minutes to present a position. Abstracts for round tables should summarize the position to be taken.

Papers may not have been previously published, nor presented in public. Only one submission per author will be accepted. All abstracts will be held in confidence during the selection process.

Session and roundtable chairs will notify all persons submitting abstracts of the acceptance or rejection of their proposals and comment upon accepted ones no later than 31 October 2017. Authors of accepted paper proposals must submit the complete text of their papers to their chairs by 15 February 2018. Chairs may suggest editorial revisions to a paper or position in order to make it satisfy session or round table guidelines and will return it with comments to the speaker by 15 March 2018. Chairs reserve the right to withhold a paper or discussion position from the program if the speaker has refused to comply with these guidelines. It is the responsibility of the chair(s) to inform speakers of these guidelines, as well as of the general expectations for both a session and participation in this meeting. Each speaker is expected to fund his or her own registration, travel and expenses to Tallinn, Estonia.

Consult the EAHN 2018 conference website for full details about deadlines, venue, and other conference information.

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Additional Guidelines for Paper Sessions:

No paper may have more than two authors. Final presented papers should be no more than 2500 words, although texts of up to 4000 words, including notes, may be included in the proceedings (submission to the proceedings is optional).

Additional Guidelines for Roundtables:

Initial position statements should be no more than 1250 words. Position statements of up to 2500 words including notes will be accepted for the proceedings (submission to the proceedings is optional).

Deadlines:

Submissions of paper proposals and roundtable discussions to session chairs:
30 September 2017

Communication by session chairs of acceptance or rejection and comments on accepted abstracts:
31 October 2017

Submission of Final Edited Abstracts to Session and Conference Chairs:
30 November 2017

Submission of Complete Draft of Paper or Position Statement to Session Chairs:
15 February 2018

Comments on Papers and Position Statements to be Returned by Session Chairs:
15 March 2018

Submission of Final Paper or Position Statement to Chair and, if to be included in Conference Proceeding, to Conference Chair:
1 April 2018

Download CFP
Click here to download this CFP in PDF form.

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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triumphbaroque

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

conference-poster

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

Abstracts Available for EAHN 2016, Dublin

Upcoming European Architectural History Network Conference, 2-4 June 2016

EAHN 2016 AbstractsAbstracts of the papers in the sessions and roundtables of the European Architectural History Network’s Fourth International Meeting can now be downloaded from the conference website. The full program of tours, keynote presentations, and other events may also be consulted there.
With a little more than a month to go until the conference, registration is still open. If the abstracts whet your appetite for a trip to Ireland with a few intense days devoted to great offerings for architectural historians, this is the time to sign up!