Progetto Euploos

Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe delle Gallerie degli Uffizi

Scheda Catalogo "2361 A"

Apri Immagini Opera
Scheda aggiornata al 07-05-2019
Opera 2361 A

Notizie storiche e critiche

Inv. 2361 A belongs to a corpus of eighteen related studies by Bernardo Buontalenti for the Palazzo Nonfinito, held in the GDS (invv. 2316 A, 2365 A r., 2392 A r./v., 2393 A r., 2394 A r./v., 2398 A, 2399 A r., 2403 A r./v., 2404 A, 2405 A, 2406 A, 2407 A, 2408 A, 2409 A). Buontalenti’s tenure as the project’s chief architect, aided by his student Matteo Nigetti, spanned from 1593 to 1600. After acquiring Camillo di Geri de Poldo de’ Pazzi’s former house, the Florentine nobleman Alessandro di Camillo Strozzi commissioned the architect to enlarge the original home into a city palace . The primary concerns directing its initial redesign involved ornamenting its two facades (at the intersection of Via Proconsolo and Borgo degli Albizi), and attending to its irregular, angled orientation . Following a disagreement with Strozzi, Buontalenti abandoned the commission, which was resumed in subsequent turns by Vincenzo Scamozzi, Santi di Tito and Giovanni Battista Caccini . The palace was never finished, acquiring its namesake title by the nineteenth century; however, by 1600, three of Buontalenti’s windows were completed on Via Proconsolo and six on Borgo degli Albizi, and the portal on the Borgo degli Albizi was completed by 1613 . The entry of Buontalenti’s studies for the Palazzo Nonfinito facades into the collection of the GDS is securely documented by Ida Botto and Amelio Fara . Upon his death in 1608, a large number of Buontalenti’s architectural drawings for private commissions, comprising the sheets for the Palazzo Nonfinito, were passed onto his children Eufemia and Camillo; the majority of his military drawings and studies for public commissions were immediately folded into the granducal collections . The familial holdings were eventually acquired by the architect Gherardo Silvani, who married Buontalenti’s granddaughter Gostanza in 1617. Drawings corresponding to invv. 2303 A to 2501 A likely remained in the family’s care until they were obtained by the Galleria in 1853 by Michele Ferrucci, the librarian of the Biblioteca di Pisa; this acquisition was solicited by the Grand Duke Leopoldo II . Buontalenti’s architectural studies of the Palazzo Nonfinito can be divided into four key categories. The majority of the drawings are devoted to the design of window treatments on the ground floor and piano nobile of both facades ; a smaller number of studies focus on the completed portal on the Borgo degli Albizi . Elevations of the two facades are also included in the corpus , while a final category elaborates more closely ornamental details such as variations for the bases and tympanum scrolls on the ground floor windows . A number of more polished exemplars, rendered in clear inked lines and brown wash, likely would have served as presentation drawings . As is the case with the majority of Buontalenti’s architectural projects, the wall elements were designed after building had commenced, highlighting variable ornamental priorities shifting throughout the building process. Fara distinguishes two key design based on stylistic grounds, proposing dates of 1593 and 1596 by comparing formal changes in drawings of windows to the built facade . Whereas the first floor windowsills were supported on balusters in designs dating to 1593 , inv. 2361 A, a sketched elevation of the Via del Proconsolo facade’s portal and three windows, features windowsills supported on consoles, a design feature particular to the final built windows; Fara thereby dates this latter drawing to the later design phase in 1596 . Later studies were designed with more complex and mixed technical approaches, such as folding the sheet into quadrants to ensure symmetry (invv. 2403 A, 2405 A, 2406 A, 2399 A), to piercing and tracing (inv. 2398 A) . Noteworthy here is Buonalenti’s increasing reliance on use of black and red pencil. In inv. 2392 A r./v., for example, Buontalenti continues to employ folding and retracing to outline the window’s frame. On the sheet’s verso, the doorway is framed by a dynamic casing, topped by a curved cornice supporting a triangular pediment containing a shell. Red pencil is used, in this case, both to outline the design’s initial features, such as the frame’s interior, and to suggest shading, as in the trim’s projecting corners. Black pencil is integrated to highlight details and passages of greater visual interest, such as the cornice’s swooping curve inward, and upper casing’s dramatic folds into a central keystone. On the recto, Buontalenti retraced his design in ink, employing red pencil here to emphasize the frame’s curving elements, and to shade in the casing and shell. Chromatic differences are also employed in a corrective manner, with Buontalenti rounding the verso’s triangular pediment in black pencil on the sheet’s recto. While prevalent in his graphic work throughout the 1590s, Buontalenti’s increasing use of red pencil reflects a changing approach to architectural design influenced by drawing methods introduced by the Zuccari brothers to the Accademia del Disegno in the mid-1570s . The use of red pencil emphasized greater diligence in drawing methods, a charge stated by Raffaello Borghini: “non si può con la midolla di pane tor via, come si fa della nera” . Buontalenti blended red and black chalk to elaborate relations between the ornament’s figural details and the window’s architectonic frame. Buontalenti’s graphic skills reached a peak in his design of the windows for the Palazzo Nonfinito’s ground floor, which incorporates a full range of drawing media and techniques . Indeed, it seems as though his physical handling of the page – its folding, inversion, punching, and tracing – and chromatic studies of lighting and movement, merge to expand the window’s ornamental possibilities. Most acutely, drawings of the ground floor windows demonstrate the sophistication of Buontalenti’s late ornamental repertoire, augmenting earlier window designs for the Villa Pratolino, the Casino Mediceo and Bianca Cappello’s palace. Praised by Silvani as “la facciata del Canto de’ Pazzi di via Albizi con quelle bellissime finestre inginocchiate, e quela porta di via albizi che piu’ bella di cotesta non si e’ mai vista” , Buontalenti enthusiastically engaged the motif of the finestra inginocchiata. Presentation drawings resembling the final design depict a window supported by two emphatic volutes, first projecting outward only to turn in, scroll-like, on their base. The rippling volute’s contrasting movements are echoed by the pediment’s peak, its edges curving toward the center as a winged monster peeks out from the cornice’s ledge. Buontalenti paid great attention to the forces engaging the pediment’s curvature, sketching a detail in ink with specified measurements for its intended depth (inv. 2407 A). An early presentation drawing for the pediment explored similar tectonic concerns with pen and wash; chiaroscuro here choreographs the pediment’s curving, collapsing, and unfurling, inward and outward. Such innovative ornamental dynamism was intended to foreground the Palazzo Nonfinito as an example of civic architecture on par with Michelangelo’s interventions on the Palazzo Medici’s facade . (Victoria Addona 2017)


  • Firenze 1968
    Botto I. M., Mostra di disegni di Bernardo Buontalenti (1531 - 1608), catalogo mostra Firenze, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi 1968, Firenze 1968, pp 64-67 n. 48, fig. 38 (scheda a cura di Botto I. M.)
  • Firenze 1985
    Morrogh A., Disegni di architetti fiorentini 1540-1640, catalogo mostra Firenze, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi 1985, Firenze 1985, pp. 152-153 n. 79, fig. 98 (scheda a cura di Morrogh A.)
  • Firenze 1998
    Fara A., Bernardo Buontalenti e Firenze, architettura e disegno dal 1576 al 1607, catalogo mostra Firenze, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe degli Uffizi 1998, Firenze 1998, p. 139 n. 62, fig. 95 (scheda a cura di Fara A.)


  • Ferri P. N. 1885
    Ferri P. N., Indice geografico-analitico dei disegni di architettura civile e militare esistenti nella R. Galleria degli Uffizi in Firenze, Roma, 1885, p. 81
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