Gaudenzio Ferrari secondo Bernard e Mary Berenson
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Stored in the archive of Bernard Berenson (1865-1959) at Villa I Tatti in Settignano are the notebooks from the scholar’s journeys together with Mary Berenson (1864-1945), upon which he completed his famous “lists”. The documents contain writings by both authors, an intricate maze of diverse thoughts nearly impossible to break down for today’s readers. Notes taken on the spot are elaborated to constitute two indexes, “notes artists” and “notes places”, into which the collected information is divided. The essay takes into consideration the materials concerning Piedmontese painter Gaudenzio Ferrari (1475/80-1546), which reveal some interesting research, early trips to Varallo Sesia (1892) and a later presence in Valtellina (1912), aimed at exploring a period of the artist’s activity that had not yet been analyzed thoroughly. Among Berenson’s working notes are several unpublished materials witnessing the evolution of his understanding of Gaudenzio, which grew broader and more complex with each new piece of information, each visit and each discovery? The analysis of such materials reveal the attitude of the connoisseur who compares images, looks for connections between iconographies and formal references. Such method was heavily influenced by the early relationship with Giovanni Morelli (1816-1891) and Gustavo Frizzoni (1840-1919), to whom credit is due for Berenson’s decision to visit such places.
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