拍品 21
  • 21

喬爾喬·瓦薩里

估價
400,000 - 600,000 USD
招標截止

描述

  • Giorgio Vasari
  • 《兩個小天使:夏天和冬天的象徵》
  • 一對,油彩畫板

來源

Graf Hans von Pernull;
By descent in the family until sold, London, Christie’s, 27 November 1970, lot 38;
Anna Moffo Sarnoff;
By whom sold, New York, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, Inc., 22 January 1976, lot 78;
There acquired by Alexandre Villiers;
Private collection.

出版

C. Davis in L. Corti, C. Davis, M. Daly Davis and J. Kliemann (eds.), Giorgio Vasari: principi, letterati e artisti nelle carte di Giorgio Vasari. Pittura vasariana dal 1532 al 1554, exhibition catalogue, Arezzo 1981, p. 45 (as Workshop of Vasari);
L. Corti, Vasari. Catalogo completo, Florence 1989, p. 87, cat. no. 66, reproduced (as Vasari);
F. Härb, The Drawings of Giorgio Vasari, 1510-1574, Rome 2015, p. 364, figs. 214.1 and 214.2 (as Vasari).

拍品資料及來源

In the 1970s, when this pair of playfully intertwined putti was last seen in public, it was believed to have once belonged to a dismembered, but now largely reconstructed, ceiling decoration which the young Vasari had executed in 1542 for a room in the palazzo of his patron, the Venetian patrician Giovanni Cornaro (1515-1576).  The ceiling decoration, which featured nine panels depicting Charity in the center surrounded by four personifications of Virtues and putti in the four corners, was Vasari’s showcase in Venice of the new Florentine maniera that he had developed in the previous years—an elegant style strongly influenced by the Roman works of Raphael and his school, by Giulio Romano, whom Vasari had visited in Mantua en route to Venice, and by Parmigianino.  This style came to dominate the grand Mannerist decorations in Florence and Rome for several decades to follow.  The Cornaro ceiling served as a template for subsequent ceiling decorations, such as that in the Sala del Trionfo della Virtù in Vasari’s own house at Arezzo (1548) and those in the rooms of Cosimo I de’ Medici in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence, the refurbishment and decoration of which Vasari designed and supervised between 1555 and circa 1570.  The four panels in the corner of the Cornaro ceiling (three of which are today in the Accademia, Venice, one appears to be lost), though of similar format, featured each only one winged putto holding a tablet,1 thus ruling out a connection of the present panels with that ceiling.  This is further supported by the style of our paintings, which is characteristic of Vasari’s later years—revealing the muscular and strongly twisted bodies typical of his altarpieces of the 1560s and early 1570s, such as the Last Judgment at Bosco Marengo (1567-70), the Coronation of the Virgin in the Badia at Arezzo (1567; fig. 1, detail), or the major altarpieces in the churches of S. Croce and S. Maria Novella in Florence, executed at the height of Vasari’s career as arguably the city’s most powerful artist.2

As Charles Davis pointed out in 1981, the ears of corn in one panel and the root vegetables in the other clearly identify the present paintings as Allegories of Summer and Winter.  Almost certainly they once formed part of a set of the Four Seasons, although no pendants representing Spring and Autumn appear to survive. As Davis further noted, a drawing by Vasari for a ceiling decoration in the Art Institute of Chicago (fig. 2) contains sketches of similarly intertwined pairs of putti, one of which appears to be holding ears of corn; there can be little doubt that the putti in the Chicago drawing represent the Four Seasons.  Vasari depicted the Four Seasons, in the guise of the Four Ages of Man, also in his house at Arezzo.3

The purpose and exact date of the Chicago ceiling design, however, has not yet been established.  No such decoration, most likely intended for a mid-sized room of relatively private character, is mentioned in Vasari’s substantial correspondence or the Ricordanze, the, albeit incomplete, account book of his commissions.  Davis suggested that the drawing, together with the present panels and another, now untraced, painting of Rebecca and Eliezer at the Well related to the sketch for the central panel in the Chicago drawing (fig. 3, a detailed study for which is in the Royal collection at Windsor)4 may have been made for a ceiling in Vasari’s house in Florence.  That house, which was presented to the artist by Duke Cosimo I de’ Medici in 1557, is best known for such celebrated frescoes as the Allegory of Disegno in the Sala delle Arti e degli Artisti, painted in about 1570.5  That Vasari was indeed planning a ceiling decoration in his Florentine house is known from a letter of February 1570 from his friend and adviser, Vincenzio Borghini, containing a pictorial programme for such a decoration. This programme, however, was largely theological in character, thus excluding a direct connection with the Chicago ceiling design.  In 1998, Alessandro Cecchi, while initially supportive of Davis’s proposal, put forward another group of four paintings, now owned by the Cassa di Risparmio in Florence and representing various personifications of Virtues, as possibly having formerly belonged to a ceiling in Vasari’s house in Florence.6  Thus, given the lack of sufficient documentary evidence, a definite decision about the purpose of the Chicago ceiling design and its related paintings cannot be made.

The present Allegories of Summer and Winter are splendid examples, in beautiful condition, of the mythological or allegorical paintings that Vasari executed throughout his life, both for his own enjoyment, as in his houses at Arezzo and Florence, and that of his numerous patrons in Venice, Rome, Naples and Florence.  Hidden from public view for nearly forty years, they are a welcome addition to the known corpus of Vasari’s paintings.

We are grateful to Dr. Florian Härb for his help with the preparation of this entry.

1.  See Härb, under Literature, pp. 206-07, under cat. no. 61, reproduced.
2.  See, for instance, Härb, ibid., cat. nos. 329, 337, 340, 347, 349, 353, 356 and 400, all reproduced.
3.  See Härb, ibid., cat. no. 140, reproduced.
4.  See Härb, ibid., cat. no. 188, reproduced.
5.  See Härb, ibid., cat. no. 368, fig. 368.1, reproduced.
6.  See A. Cecchi, “Le case del Vasari a Arezzo e Firenze,” in: R.P. Ciardi (ed.), Case di artisti in Toscana, Milan 1998, pp. 72–73, figs. 45–48, reproduced.

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