Palma Vecchio. - Free Online Library

Philip Rylands' monograph on the Bergamasque painter Jacopo Negretti called Palma Vecchio, published in Italian in 1988, appears now in its author's native language, and maintaining the same editorial quality. The introductory essay consists of six chapters, as follows: the critical legacy, the documents and documented paintings (except altarpieces), the altarpieces, the Sacre Conversazioni, the portraits, and finally a long conclusion. The catalogue distinguishes among paintings, drawings, ascribed works and lost paintings. We find then a register of twenty seven documents; some of them are transcribed in the Appendices, including too the complete text of the painter's goods inventory at the time of his death. The rich bibliography is organized alphabetically. The volume is provided with a names and a places index. Rylands emphasizes from the first chapter the place assumed by the bergamasque painter in Venice. During Giovanni Bellini's last period and at the time of Giorgione and Titian, he became one of the most prominent artists of Venetian painting, as also earlier writers such as Paolo Pino and Giorgio Vasari attest. His large production ranges from altarpieces and portraits to mythological paintings for private galleries. Rylands cautiously approaches the identification of the Reading Madonna in the Gemaeldegalerie Berlin Dahlem (A7) as the very first of Jacopo's works; he points out some common features with the work of Andrea Previtali which could confirm the signature's authenticity. The group of Sacre Conversazioni including the Madonna with SS. Peter, Jerome and the donor in the Conde Museum at Chantilly (A17), the Madonna with two donors in St. Petersburg's Hermitage (A34), the Half figure Madonna with two donors in the Museo Civico, Padua (A50) and the Half figure Madonna with SS. Francis, Jerome and a female donor n. 163 in the Borghese Gallery, Rom (A56), is ascribed to Palma Vecchio by most scholars but is considered by Rylands to be the work of a Master of the Chantilly Madonna. I am not quite sure the Hermitage painting pertains to this same group; if so, I would suggest the addition of the Borghese Sacra Conversazione n. 157, which is listed by Rylands as by the Veneto-Bergamasque School. The Hostellers altarpiece in S. Cassiano, Venice, after its recent restoration, appears not to be a work by Palma Vecchio, but very probably by Rocco Marconi, even if it closely reminds one of Giovanni Cariani, especially for St. Andrew's (?) head. For the Kress Collection n. 357 Giambattista Memmo's Portrait we confirm its attribution to Vincenzo Catena. At the recent exhibition Le siecle de Titien at the Grand Palais, Paris, we saw the uncertain but exciting painting n. 26. 107 from the Institute of Art, Detroit (A22). Unless we accept the so-called Giorgione's maniera grande, we should admit that the central male figure seems to be painted by Pordenone, while the woman dressed in white on the left recalls Titian's prototypes around 1530; and on good grounds Rylands is doubtful about its authenticity. The author creates a Master of the Lansdowne Concert around the Concert belonging to an English private collection (A26). I am sure that to this same painter must also be attributed the Madonna with SS. Jerome, infant John the Baptist and a franciscan saint in the Poldi Pezzoli Museum, Milan, ascribed by Mauro Natale to the Venetian Master of the Incredulity of St. Thomas, who is, in my opinion, Luca Antonio Busati. The Christ carrying the cross in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (A72), has been ascribed by Carlo Volpe to Pordenone, but is very problematic as to school and time if we compare it with the original, in both my and (partially) Rylands' opinion. This monograph as a whole is rigorously constructed, more reliable than the out-of-date reconstructions of Palma Vecchio's catalogue published by Gombosi, Berenson and Mariacher. Anchise Tempestini KUNSTHISTORISCHES INSTITUT, FLORENCE COPYRIGHT 1995 Renaissance Society of America
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