Progetto Euploos

Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe delle Gallerie degli Uffizi

Scheda Catalogo "829 A bis"

Apri Immagini Opera
Scheda aggiornata al 30-10-2019
Opera 829 A bis

Iscrizioni

  • autore ignoto cinquecentesco: "questo e uno mezo palmo chon che sono misuratte queste chornice", a penna sul recto in basso
  • autore ignoto cinquecentesco: "Tutte queste chornice sono fatte chon questo palmo qui sengmatto", a penna sul recto in alto
  • P. N. Ferri: "829 bis", a matita blu sul verso a sinistra
  • P. N. Ferri: "510a", a matita sul recto in alto a destra

Notizie storiche e critiche

This corpus of drawings of antique details by an anonymous Italian sixteenth-century draftsman in the circle of Antonio da Sangallo the Younger comprises twenty sheets in the GDSU, previously catalogued under two authors: Antonio da Sangallo the Elder and Pietro Rosselli . With very few exceptions, they depict Ionic capitals and Ionic or Corinthian cornices. The drawings are especially notable for their provenance from the Vasari-Mariette Album, part of Vasari’s famous "Libro de’ Disegni", which entered the Uffizi collection in late July 1798 . There is no documentation on his acquisition of these works, but Antonio da Sangallo the Younger’s handwriting on the sheets links them to the Sangallo collection and Vasari could have received them from Antonio’s nephew Francesco, as has been hypothesized by Ragghianti Collobi . The similar physical characteristics of the sheets suggest a loosely planned group added to over time. Stylus, pen and wash are used throughout with few exceptions, although the ink color varies from drawing to drawing. Three different watermarks appear; those of which can be found in Briquet date to the second quarter of the sixteenth century . The size of the sheets is varied, although the relatively well-preserved edges and remnants of drawn frames on multiple sheets shows that they were cut apart and/or trimmed at some point after their insertion in Vasari’s ‘Libro’. In at least one case, that of invv. 1625 A and 1626 A, two notes in the hand of Antonio the Younger comparing the drawings imply that the two folios were originally considered together, and possibly once formed part of the same sheet. Antonio’s hand appears on several of the drawings , adding measurements in most cases but occasionally providing corrections. The drawings with measurements by the anonymous draftsman are in Roman palmi divided into 60 minuti, while Antonio uses minuti only, even when the numbers are quite large. Inv. 829 A bis, the first folio in the series and the image reproduced here, consists of two small drawings of scales in Roman ‘palmi’ later pasted onto a single sheet. The captions (in the draftsman’s hand) indicate that both refer to images of cornices, although neither corresponds to any in the series, so they must have been cut from other drawings now lost. It is impossible, unfortunately, to know when the separation was made, or whether these missing works were originally part of the Vasari-Mariette Album . Regardless, the scales belonged to the series as originally conceived, and therefore inv. 829 A bis is catalogued here. Indeed, it underlines the careful attention to measured orthographic drawing that characterizes the entire corpus. The lower of the two scales is, like that of inv. 1321 A, keyed to the actual size of the Roman palmo (0.223 m), so that the cornice drawings would have been exactly 1/6th their real size. The first specific information about the Vasari-Mariette Album comes from Giovanni Bottari in 1757: the volume "comprende per lo più disegni d'Architetture d'invenzione di Bramante, dei Sangalli, del Palladio, del Vignola, dello Scamozzi, di Tiberio Calcagni e d'altri insigni Architetti. Tra questi disegni ve ne sono della chiesa di San Pietro in Vaticano fatti da Antonio da Sangallo, ma tra lo differenti: e di esso vi sono molti frammenti d'antichità che a suo tempo erano in essere, disegnati da lui. Evvi anche la pianta di un vastissimo Palazzo invenzione di Giuliano da S. Gallo per la casa de' Medici" . In 1775, when Mariette's collection was sold, the volume passed into the hands of Jean Baptiste Seroux d'Agincourt, who reproduced two images in the series, invv. 1321 A and 2052 A, in his ‘Histoire de l’art par les monumens, depuis sa décadence au IVe siècle jusqu’à son renouvellement au XVIe’ . The French historian unambiguously states their provenance: "ces études inédites jusqu'à ce moment sont tirées d'un recueil de dessins d'architecture, qui après avoir fait partie de la collection de Vasari et de celle de M. Mariette, passa en 1775 dans la mienne" . When the volume entered the Uffizi in 1798, director Tommaso Puccini described some of the drawings in a letter to the Granduke Ferdinando III. Echoing the summary of Bottari, he describes the subjects as follows: "I soggetti sono anche interessantissimi, perché vi sono molti disegni di Bramante, e di Giuliano da S. Gallo, che ci presentano le loro idee eseguite in parte, in parte non eseguite sulla gran fabbrica di S. Pietro, alcune foglie di capitelli, e di modinature tratte dall’antico, e accuratamente disegnate da Antonio da S. Gallo” . Among them he attributes twenty-four to Antonio da Sangallo, without specifying Elder or Younger. Confirming the suspicion that the twenty-four sheets were a group of particular interest from among the drawings by Antonio is the information received from the ‘Giornale’ of 1784-1824 (BU, ms. 114, cc. 71 v.-72 v.), which on August 1, 1798 registers the entry of a volume, clearly the Vasari-Mariette Album, containing "58 [disegni] di Ant.o da S. Gallo architetto" .The next detailed account of the volume is found in the 1832 catalogue of the GDSU by Luigi Scotti (GDSU, ms. 127, coll. n. 42). Scotti describes a sum total of fifty-four drawings by Antonio da Sangallo the Elder, among which he also lists “N° 24 Disegni di Cornicioni, Capitelli, Basi, il tutto disegnato a Roma dai monumenti antichi" . Besides the twenty gathered here, it is an open question which other drawings were originally included in the ‘Libro’. The historical attributions to Antonio da Sangallo the Elder and Pietro Rosselli can be discarded on the basis of handwriting exemplars . As was observed by Lotz, drawings by this hand also appear in the collection of the Casa Buonarroti and the Graphische Sammlung Albertina, implying an association with Michelangelo’s workshop, although there are no letters by this hand in the Archivio Buonarroti to provide the much-desired name . We know by his annotations that Antonio had extensive access to the sheets: perhaps he even requested their creation from a draftsman working for him. The dating of the group is difficult to establish definitively, although the similarities in subject matter and execution suggest they were executed in roughly the same period. Scaglia’s claim (1995) for ca. 1500 is unsustainable based on the formal characteristics of the drawings. More convincing is Alfonso Bartoli’s proposal that another sheet from the series, inv. 1624 A, of a ‘cornice’ “ttrovata a bastioni fura della porta san bastiano”, probably refers to the Bastione Ardeatino, where Antonio began work between 1537 and 1539, providing a terminus post quem in line with the graphic character of the images; Antonio’s death on August 3, 1546 gives the terminus ante . The ultimate purpose of the series is uncertain. The repetitive subject matter and careful attention to detail suggest a documentation project – probably intended to collect various extant examples of the Ionic order in order to stabilize a normative form based on the antique. It is not clear if other drawings for the Doric or Corinthian orders were made and later destroyed, or planned but not executed. The excellent condition of the sheets means that they were not handled frequently, which further supports the idea of a series used to document various examples rather than provide models for workshop use. How deeply Antonio was involved in the planning of the drawing project remains subject to debate; however, considering his well-documented interest in Vitriuvan norms, it seems quite likely that Antonio commissioned the survey drawings from a workshop assistant whose name is now lost to us, with the intention of stabilizing an order based on existing antique exemplars. (Cara Rachele 2011)

Bibliografia

  • 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. XL
  • Scaglia G. 1995
    Scaglia G., Drawings of "Roma antica" in a Vitruvius edition of the Metropolitan Museum of Art : part III, in Römisches Jahrbuch der Bibliotheca Hertziana, XXX, 1995, pp. 259, 271
  • Davies P. 2014
    Davies P., The Hidden Signature: Scale Keys in Italian Renaissance Architectural Drawings, in Pegasus, XVI, 2014, pp. 141-142, 148 nota 32, ripr. a p. 142
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