3
Professional Notes 337 Picture Framing II: Frames from the Valadier Workshop Luigi Valadier (1726-85) was the most important Italian Goldsmith of the 18th- century, but the activity of three generations of the Valadier family and their workshop extends over more than a century and the growing corpus of drawings from the Vala- dier workshop provides a splendid tour d’hovizon of Italian Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical metalwork. The album of draw- ings in the Pinacoteca in Faenza is well known to the relatively few specialists in the field, but a second album has come to light recently and, failing to find a purchaser intact, it has been broken up. A selection of these drawings was exhibited in London Design for a rectangular entablature frame, with three alternative patterns and profiles and two variants of a cresting composed of a large patera and ribbons, from the Valadier workshop, Rome c.1780-85, exhibited in London, 1991. This drawing (pen and grey and brown ink with wash, 447 X 295mm) can be associated with frames executed for the Vatican, 1779-97. Design for a rectangular entablature frame, with two alternatives for the mouldings, decorated friezes and cresting, from the Valadier workshop, Rome c. 1785. This drawing (pen and grey ink with grey and yellow wash, 660 x 444mm), exhibited in London in 1991, can be attributed to a member of the Spagna family. (May-June 1991) by David Carritt Limited (Artemis Group), and are the subject of an excellent catalogue-Valadier: Three Gener- ations of Roman Goldsmiths-by Alvar Gonzalez-Palacios and others. Included are four designs for frames and one for a framed relief, dating from c. 1770-75 to c. 1785, which provide welcome additional points of reference in the evolu- tion of late 18th-century Italian frame designs. The earliest of these (c.l77O-75) is the design for an entablature (casetta) frame with gilt outer and sight-edge mouldings enclosing a frieze of lapis lazuli, the whole encircled with a looped silver garland of flowers supported by pairs of winged putti or amorini. The crowning feature would appear to be a miniature obelisk, supported by putti, symbolizing eternity, and thus the

Picture framing II: Frames from the valadier workshop

  • Upload
    buidan

  • View
    224

  • Download
    0

Embed Size (px)

Citation preview

Page 1: Picture framing II: Frames from the valadier workshop

Professional Notes 337

Picture Framing II: Frames from the Valadier Workshop

Luigi Valadier (1726-85) was the most important Italian Goldsmith of the 18th- century, but the activity of three generations of the Valadier family and their workshop extends over more than a century and the growing corpus of drawings from the Vala- dier workshop provides a splendid tour d’hovizon of Italian Baroque, Rococo and Neoclassical metalwork. The album of draw- ings in the Pinacoteca in Faenza is well known to the relatively few specialists in the field, but a second album has come to light recently and, failing to find a purchaser intact, it has been broken up. A selection of these drawings was exhibited in London

Design for a rectangular entablature frame, with three alternative patterns and profiles and two variants of a cresting composed of a large patera and ribbons, from the Valadier workshop, Rome c.1780-85, exhibited in London, 1991. This drawing (pen and grey and brown ink with wash, 447 X 295mm) can be associated with frames executed for the Vatican, 1779-97.

Design for a rectangular entablature frame, with two alternatives for the mouldings, decorated friezes and cresting, from the Valadier workshop, Rome c. 1785. This drawing (pen and grey ink with grey and yellow wash, 660 x 444mm), exhibited in London in 1991, can be attributed to a member of the Spagna family.

(May-June 1991) by David Carritt Limited (Artemis Group), and are the subject of an excellent catalogue-Valadier: Three Gener- ations of Roman Goldsmiths-by Alvar Gonzalez-Palacios and others.

Included are four designs for frames and one for a framed relief, dating from c. 1770-75 to c. 1785, which provide welcome additional points of reference in the evolu- tion of late 18th-century Italian frame designs. The earliest of these (c.l77O-75) is the design for an entablature (casetta) frame with gilt outer and sight-edge mouldings enclosing a frieze of lapis lazuli, the whole encircled with a looped silver garland of flowers supported by pairs of winged putti or amorini. The crowning feature would appear to be a miniature obelisk, supported by putti, symbolizing eternity, and thus the

Page 2: Picture framing II: Frames from the valadier workshop

338 Professional Notes

Design for an oval frame surmounted by the arms of Pope Pius VI (Braschi; 1775-99), from the Valadier workshop, Rome c.1785-90. The gilt metal frame derived from this drawing (pen and grey ink, 435 x 580 mm) encloses a mosaic dated 1785, and the whole was presented to Princess Sophia

Albertina of Sweden in 1793.

design may be secular rather than an elaborate frame for a devotional image.

On the other hand, the design for a rectangular frame with three alternative patterns and profiles, surmounted by two variants of a largepatera and ribbons, can be associated with Pope Pius VI’s decision in 1779 to place Luigi Valadier in charge of the restoration and mounting of the cameos in the Musei Sacro e Profano of the Vatican. Payments in respect of these works con- tinued until I797 and a number of the finished frames still exist.’

Metal frames, in gilt bronze, silver or silver gilt, made in the larger sizes, would appear to have been something of a Roman speciality during the late 17th and 18th centuries, and the antecedents of the large presentation drawing of a Deposition relief in an entabla- ture frame with gilt outer and sight-edge mouldings around friezes of red porphyry, enriched with four silver angels, extend back to the mid-17th century. Indeed the promin- ence of large pearls in both mouldings is slightly surprising for c. 1775-85 and empha- sizes the continuity of Roman stylistic

traditions as well as the impact of Neoclassi- cism. The same is true of the design for a rectangular entablature frame with two alter- natives for the mouldings, decoration of the frieze, and cresting including the monogram of the Virgin. This again has every appear- ance of being intended to be executed in metal, and the drawing (c.1785) can be attributed to a member of the Spagna family working in the Valadier workshop.

The most distinguished and richly orna- mented frame design, however, is that surmounted by the arms of Pope Pius VI (Braschi; 1775-W) which was identified by Alvar Gonzalez-Palacios as a design for the large gilt metal frame enclosing the mosaic by Filippo Cocchi (inscribed and dated 1785) given by Pius VI to Princess Sophia Alber- tina of Sweden in 1793.* Although con- siderably simplified in execution, this design has also been associated with the Spagna family, notwithstanding close parallels with Lombard designs of the period (cf. Giocondo Albertolli), and it is important to recall that the Neoclassical demand for sharply cut, fine detail in the ornament placed a premium on

Page 3: Picture framing II: Frames from the valadier workshop

Notes

1. A. Gonzalez-Palacios, IL Tempio de1 Gusto, The inscription reads: ‘Philippus Cocchi

Roma e il Regno delle Due Sicilie (Milan, 1984), Romanus/hanc tabulam musivam/fecit anno

II, ~1.228 for a mounted cameo now in the 1785’.

Louvre. P.C.-B.

Professional Notes 339

metal frames for the first time since the 2. Acquired in 1965 through the Helga Jakobsen Renaissance. Endowment Fund. E. Zahle, ‘A Roman

Mosaic’, Opuscuka in Honorem C. Hernmarck (Stockholm, 1966), pp. 277-80; and Gonzilez- Palacios, op. cit. Note 1, I, p. 135, pl. XVIII.

Sponsorship: National Gallery of Art: Special Exhibition Policy for Corporate Contributors

Practices vary considerably between diffe- rent institutions and the relationship between museum and sponsor is sensitive. J. Carter Brown, Director of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, has kindly consented to the publication of its statement of policy in special exhibitions, as a contribution to the achieving of fair and consistent standards (Ed.).

Special exhibitions are one of the most important and visible of the public programs at the National Gallery of Art. While the Congress provides financial assistance to this special exhibition program from the federal budget, it insists that the National Gallery seek private contributions to enhance its schedule of special exhibitions. The Gallery has been generously supported by both American and foreign corporations in offering a diverse schedule of exhibitions, which has brought some of the world’s finest art to Washington and sub- sequently to other museums throughout the United States.

The Trustees of the National Gallery are commit- ted to seeing that these works of art, and the educational programs and media that describe the art and artists, remain the major concern of any exhibition. They also insist that the events that accompany exhibitions enhance the enjoy- ment and appreciation of the art on display. To assure that these desires are satisfied, and in recognition of the special role the Gallery occupies in the cultural life of the nation, the Trustees have established the conditions sur- rounding corporate support of an exhibition at the National Gallery.

Experience has shown that a corporation’s repu- ‘tation, and the appreciation of its contribution, are enhanced by the way in which its support is treated at the events and in the publications that accompany the exhibition, as well as in the exhibition itself. It is with this in mind that the following policies have been formulated: The corporation will receive credit in the catalogue or book that the National Gallery publishes in conjunction with the exhibition. The credit will appear in the foreword pages of the catalogue. Since the Gallery views the catalogue or book it publishes as an educational document that will find its place in libraries around the world, it does not permit the inclusion of other corporate material such as statements from the officers of the corporation or a recitation of the corporation’s other cultural activities. However, in the Director’s foreword, very complete recognition of the corporation can be prominently included, which tends to be more complimentary than if the corporation is seen as calling attention to itself. The agreed-upon credit line will appear in all press releases, on the poster(s) produced by the Gallery, and in the exhibition. It will also appear in any brochures or booklets prepared for distribution in connection with the exhi- bition as well as audiovisual presentations. In no case will the corporation’s trademark or logotype be incorporated in such usage, or in any other form, within the National Gallery. This restriction does not apply to advertising and promotional materials for use and display outside the Gallery. The corporation will be credited in an agreed- upon customary format such as: “This exhi- bition is supported by a grant from . .“; “This exhibition is made possible by funding from. . .“; “Funding for this exhibition was provided by . . .,” etc. To avoid any possible implication of for-profit “sponsorship” (in the sense of a commercial television program), which might jeopardize an exhibition’s federal immunity from judicial seizure, in no case will