Gotofredo’s ivory situla in Milan Cathedral: communication of four copies
Among his treasures, Milan Cathedral stores a very celebrated work: Gotofredo’s situla. A lustral ivory small bucket completed by a metal handle, realized between 974 and september 979. Made out of a single lathe-worked piece of ivory, situla is bas-relief carved with the motif of five round arches, supported by straight columns culminating in a capital with curled acanthus leaves. The four evangelists are inserted in the little arches, represented seated and busy writing the sacred text, identifiable thanks to the inscriptions running along every arch and to the respective symbols. Even the four copies discussed here testify the interest situla stirred up with the passing of time.
Note about medieval cross-shaped reliquaries in Italy
Starting from Frolow’s and Klein’s studies, the author presents an outline of the various models of medieval cross-shaped reliquaries existing today in Italy. There’s a natural formal evolution of cross-shaped reliquaries, changing as time and styles pass by, following the taste of various ages, but the shapes of some of them stays unchanging in models imposed by archetypes and their iconography: such forms testified the eastern origin of the reliquary, so they were the proof of the authenticity of the relic contained, generating a filiation of cross-shaped reliquaries equal between themselves and produced in whole Europe basing on more ancient byzantine or Jerusalem models.
Head jewels in fifteenth-century Virgin Mary’s representations
Head is a key element in western custom’s history. In Europe, most of all starting from the Middle Age, gorgeous fittings and jewels appeared in women’s head, often to parade luxury and opulence. Besides, since XV century many patterns of hairdressing contemporaneously appeared in Italy and this made head one of the most privileged vehicles of age’s fashion. In the first fifty years of XV century head jewels are present in their magnificence almost exclusively in profane painting. Virgin Mary appears hardly always heavily veiled, without jewels or with hair left untied, but round about the half of the century painters started with their work to give a representation of the world in all its aspects as faithful as possible. Then, it’s reasonable to suppose in this attempt to reproduce reality in every detail it didn’t make an exception for head jewels.
Santa Maria di Piedigrotta church in Palermo and its lost treasures
Through the study and the publication of two inventories of 1588 and 1646, the author reconstructs the artistic heritage of Santa Maria di Piedigrotta’s church in Palermo. The church was built in 1564, on the Cala’s left bank, on the same promontory where the Sea Castle risen, on a little natural cave, after absorbed by the religious building. The great artistic heritage documented by manuscripts doesn’t exist anymore, not only because probably some of these furnitures were stolen and reused for the creation of others jewels or sold; others, after, were destroyed by war shellings, while the textile works deteriorated even because of dust and dampness.
Additions to Pape’ di Valdina’s tapestry
The discovery of new parts of the embroidered tapestry, at first in Papè di Valdina house, whose news have been given at least a decade ago, is exceptional. The new pieces discovered in a catanese private collection are unquestionably part of the above-named tapestry, stored in Palermo, at family’s heirs, being made of the same tails – two - of crimson velvet appliqué embroidered with the same motif of vegetable shoots framing biblical histories. The discovery of these new parts allows to ascribe the work to Vincenzo La Barbera, thanks also to comparisons with other works of the same artist.
Ignacio Miguéliz Valcarlos
Sicilian goldsmithry with coral in Navarra
The presence in hispanic churches of silverware works coming from foreign centres is a costant in the course of History. Actually, in the study of hispanic silverware, one of the richest chapters is made up of these works came from abroad, as much from India as from hispanic monarchy’s european territories. In this context, among works stored in navarrian temples are many sicilian provenance exemplars, all beautiful, thanks to the materials they’re made of, gilded bronze, ivory and most of all coral.
Maria del Mar Nicolás Martínez
The collection of sculpture and goldsmithry of don Fernando Joaquín Fajardo, Marqués of los Vélez and Viceroy of Naples (1675-1683)
On January 27th, 1683, don Fernando Joaquín Fajardo de Requesens y Zúñiga (1635-1692), VI marqués de los Vélez, who had held the position of hispanic monarchy’s viceroy since 1675, abandoned the Royal Palace of Naples. On his departure from neapolitan capital’s harbour he carried with him many sculpture, goldsmith and painting works, belonging to the magnificent collection he had gathered in Italy during his vicereign, whose great part since some time was in Spain.
Bonsignori reliquaries in Tuscania Cathedral
Tuscania’s Cathedral owns a rich equipment of sacred ornaments, among whom a valuable treasure of silverware, already widely studied. Furnishings in different materials, sometimes unusual, not yet taken in consideration, are treated here, like the curious group of reliquaries donated by monsignor Bartolomeo Bonsignori, one of the protagonists of Tuscania’s religious history between the second half of the XVII and the first decades of XVIII century. The reliquaries were offered in three successive phases, in 1704, in 1708 and in 1713 and they seem to have been realized, maybe on suggestion of the customer himself, using small manufactured goods, more or less precious, according to an age-old tradition of re-use of profane containers to store saints and martyrs’ venerated relics.
Albarellos from calatine school in Madrid’s National Museum of Decorative Arts
National Museum of Decorative Arts in Madrid presents inside its collections a great number of sicilian decorative arts’ manufactured articles datable between XV and XIX century. Among these some unpublished albarellos of calatine school, realized between the first and the second half of the XVIII century, stand out. The exemplars, already belonging to Enrique Scharlau Bellsch’s collection, have been acquired by the Museum in 2004 through Christie’s Ibérica and they’re part of that category of the more widespread manufactured articles in the spicery’s equipments.
The Chapters of Palermo’s St. Eligius Congregation (1844) and an unpublished drawing by Valerio Astorini
The author, after an important discovery at Palermo’s Diocesan Historic Archive, whose he’s vice-director, publishes the Chapters of Palermo’s St. Eligius Congregation, document of 1844, and an unpublished drawing of 1767 by Valerio Astorini, contained inside the file with the Chapters. The document is particularly important because it testifies the persisting of corporatism between the artisan masters even after the definitive workforces’ abolition and it provides a meaningful list of palermitan goldsmiths and silversmiths working in those years.
An inlay by Francesco Ravaioli to celebrate Pius IX
This article’s argument is Francesco Ravaioli’s inlay on a table’s plane, which, as indicated by the writing on the lower panel’s border, was realized a little after July 17th, 1846 to commemorate the amnesty granted, after a month since his election to the pontifical throne, by Pio IX to everyone who had committed political crimes. The piece of furniture, documenting with precision one of the main facts of our Risorgimento, besides being a very important historic proof, even represents the evolution of taste in Romagna’s area during Restoration, when, beside the persisting of neoclassical stylistic features, evident here in the shape of table’s legs, started to become popular the new taste for furnitures decorated with episodes inspired by the main italian politic facts.
Maria Laura Celona
The exclusive italian handicrafts’ design is only one of the characteristics of precious metal’s manufacture in our Country which, since many years, is rewarded for innate creativity and out of the ordinary ability. The Art of italian silversmiths, of whom peninsula was rich and who often has been handed from father to son and from small workshops to firms protagonists of international markets, takes shape in the life tale of Dr. Carlo Lo Cicero, owner of Formusa’s silver firm, narrated to the author.
Lived between Eighties and Nineties, Guglielmo Vita represents the particular figure of an artist included in a Country’s historic and social context, Italy, still at the beginning, but irreparably marked by deep cultural and religious contrasts. The numerous acknowledgements obtained as artist, architect, poet and publisher weren’t enough to avoid the decay of a memory coming back after over fifty years since his death. The study of Guglielmo Vita’s Florentine house, in a perspective of recovery and exploitation of his own work, represents a fundamental point of start for the reconstruction of man and intellectual’s artistic and personal course.