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Jacqueline Lalande Biscontin: Feuilles de mémoire. Un carnet de dessins florentins du musée du Louvre. De l'Académie du dessin à Filippo Baldinucci


CYRIACUS Studien zur Rezeption der Antike Vol. 7

Jacqueline Lalande Biscontin: Feuilles de mémoire. Un carnet de dessins florentins du musée du Louvre. De l'Académie du dessin à Filippo Baldinucci, with contributions by Catherine Monbeig Goguel and Ariane de la Chapelle

Format 21 x 30 cm, 492 pages, more than 200 figures (coulour, b/w)., 89 €,
Verlag Franz Philipp Rutzen, Mainz und Ruhpolding 2015,
in Kommission bei Harrassowitz Verlag Wiesbaden,
ISBN 978-3-447-10303-9
ISSN 2197-6406

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The publication covers the study of 59 drawing sheets kept in the département des Arts graphique du musée du Louvre, Inv. 954 to 1011; sometimes drawn on both sides, recto and verso, this ‚carnet‘ of the collection of Fillipo Baldinucci now dissolved comprises 100 pages. Baldinucci mounted these drawings on the sheets of the first of his four volumes, purchased by the Louvre in 1806. Detached from the album during the last century, the drawings are henceforth preserved separately in the department. The text on the first sheet – no doubt Baldinucci’s handwriting – attributes the drawings to Pontormo who, according to Baldinucci, kept them „legato in un suo libro“.

Among the suggested attributions, the one expressed by C. Monbeig Goguel in favour to Jacopo Zucchi in her publication of the carnet-drawings from 1972, has been corrected by herself in 1992 towards an attribution to Sebastiano Vini – a thesis Monbeig Goguel develops further in this work. This artist, originally from Verona, very close to Vasari at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence operated in the Medicean ambience.

The systematic study of the structure and the content of this set of drawings has never been attempted. The scientific analysis by A. de la Chapelle, regarding paper structure and the radiographic analysis of the watermarks visible on 23 sheets, facilitated by the fact that the drawings are not glued in, confirms the sixteenth century toscan-florentine origin as well as their unity as a sketchbook already mentioned by C. Monbeig Goguel in 1972.

The entire set of drawings studied by J. Biscontin consists merely of copies. The identification of the depicted motifs, not discerned until now, is crucial for the question of the attribution to the artist. The main characteristics of the set are the varietà and the predominance of ornament as shows the diversity of the subjects represented: figures (Pontormo, copy of the painting The Halberdier, Beccafumi, Daniele da Volterra, Orsini chapel in Santa Trinità dei Monti); modern civil and sacred architecture (Vasari, circle of the San Gallo, Raffaello da Montelupo, Dosio, Buontalenti); antiquities, antique and modern vases, and various other subjects (monsters, helmets, candelabra, grotesques). Almost all of the motifs, 265 in total, have been identified.

The sketchbook can be dated to the second half of the sixteenth century thanks to chronological evidence: the date 1557 inscribed on Inv. 1002, the tomb of the Fondi by Bartolomeo Neroni in Siena of 1571, Inv. 982, and the representation of a Turk for the Apparato of 1589, Inv. 964.

An important group of drawings raises the difficult but essential question of “intercodices” relationships between their drawn motifs and those of other collections. To some of them, strong ties can be detected. Among the most important are the OZ 111 of Berlin, the Zichy, the Barberinianus, the Escurialensis, the Libro in Lille and the Camporiano. Further relations to dispersed sheets, such as the important drawings of the Uffizi attributed to the most famous Florentine artists of the sixteenth century, become apparent. Some of these collections are published, others, although no less important, are not, such as the Codices Destailleur-Polofzoff A and B. Notwithstanding, their consultation allowed us to considerably enrich the connection, unforeseen until now, between the sketchbook of the Louvre and the other collections.

All that confirms that these drawings are related to the interests manifested in the ambiance of the Accademia del Disegno, of Vasari, and especially Don Vincenzio Borghini and his Scuola dell’Ospedale and instigates us to declare this sketchbook a “borghinian” series formed out of feuilles de mémoire, a faithful and tangible testimony of the ideal that the luogotenente credited to drawing itself, that of mantenere la memoria.

The comparison between all these sources and the fate of the carnet du Louvre within the circle of Cigoli, Pereisc, and Cassiano dal Pozzo gives evidence of the extraordinary status of these drawings within the circulation of forms and multiple information between Florence, Rome, and Siena as well as – to a minor degree – the Padovian region.

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Cyriacus Vol. 7 out now