Fiamminghi a Roma, 1508-1608. Proceedings of the symposium held in Brussels, February 24-25, 1995, edited by Nicole Dacos (Bolletino d’arte, Supplement to no. 100, 1997). Rome: Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello Stato, 1998. 316 pp, col. and b&w illus., with an index for artists and persons; texts in English, French, and Italian with brief Italian summaries.
Fiamminghi a Roma, 1508-1608. Proceedings of the symposium held at Museum Catharijneconvent, Utrecht, March 13, 1995. Edited by Sabine Eiche, Gert Jan van der Sman and Jeanne van Waadenoijen (Italia e Paesi Bassi, 5). Florence: Centro Di, under the auspices of the Istituto Universitario Olandese di Storia dell’Arte, 2000. 112 pp, illus. ISBN 88-7038-341-5.
Two different proceedings were published recently with the identical title, Fiamminghi a Roma, 1508-1608; both were organized in 1995 in conjunction with the corresponding exhibition, shown in Brussels and Rome. The larger publication, comprising the papers delivered at the international colloquium in Brussels on 24-25 February 1995, Artistes des Anciens Pays-Bas et de la Principauté de Liège à Rome, appeared as a supplement to the Bolletino d’Arte, no. 100 (1997), edited by Nicole Dacos. The proceedings of the symposium, organized as part of the Erasmus exchange program between Art History Departments of six Italian and Dutch universities and held at the Museum Catherijneconvent, Utrecht, on 3 March 1995, was published under the auspices of the Istituto Universitario Olandese di Storia delle’arte in Florence in 1999, edited by Sabine Eiche, Gert Jan van der Sman and Jeanne van Waadenoijen; translations by Maureen Brown Fant and Alison Stroesser. All the texts are in English. Nicole Dacos and Bert W. Meijer were involved in both symposia and publications.
First to the proceedings published as the Supplement to the Bolletino d’Arte. In her introduction, Nicole Dacos touches briefly upon the various themes discussed by twenty authors in this special issue devoted to Flemish artists living and working in Rome, from Jan Gossaert to Rubens.
In her own essay, Dacos discusses how Brussels became a significant centre to study Italian art due to the influence of modelli and cartoons by Raphael and his followers sent there to be woven. In 1520 Tommaso Vincidor accompanied Raphael’s cartoons with the Acts of the Apostles. Others were sent by Gianfrancesco Penni (The History of Scipio) and Giovanni da Udine (designs for the Scuola Nuova of 1524). Since the cartoons traditionally remained in the weavers’ studios, they exerted a great influence on Northern artists, among them Barend van Orley (as seen in his Hunts of Maximilian) and Peter de Kempeneer as well as on Lambert Suavius from Liège.
Maria Teresa Caracciolo describes the travel routes through France, more specifically Lyon, taken by artists around 1600, while Elena Parma discusses the artistic relations between Genoa and Flanders in the first half of the sixteenth century. Artists who might have passed through were Joos van Cleve in 1530 and possibly Frans Floris in 1547, since he seems to have been influenced by Perino del Vaga’s decorations in the Palazzo of Andrea Doria in Fassolo. Catherine Monbeig Goguel takes the important sheet by Giovanni Stradano (Jan van der Straet; Stradanus) of the Conversion of St. Paul in the Louvre that was part of Vasari’s Libro de’ disegni and still preserves Vasari’s original mount, as the focal point for her discussion of the artistic relations between Florence and the North. She suggests further that the sheet may have belonged to the decorations (apparati) of Medici festivities. Dominique Allart’s recounting of Bruegel’s travels over the Alps does not incorporate the recent suggestions of Hans Mielke which appeared in 1996.
Molly Faries sheds light on Jan van Scorel’s clerical patronage (they account for some 60% of his output once back in The Netherlands), most importantly of Herman van Lokhorst and his son Willem who were appointed co-executors of Pope Adrian VI’s will and given the task to settle the pope’s affairs in Utrecht. The article includes some infrared reflectogram assembly.
Bert W. Meijer adds several topics that he was unable to incorporate in his introduction to the Fiamminghi a Roma exhibition catalogue. He stresses the important role of Netherlandish artists in reproductive engravings after Michelangelo and points out how significant contributions by Netherlandish artists like Mijtens, Coberger, and Rubens were in the decorations of the Gesù or the Chiesa Nuova in Rome.
Eva Jana Siroká gives an overview of Hans Speckaert as a draughtsman and teacher, while Wouter Th. Kloeck warns of the pitfall Speckaert’s drawings present, since so many are copies. He establishes that even the eight sheets in Budapest Gerszi had published in 1968 as originals now have to be interpreted as copies based on a (lost) Speckaert drawing formerly in Gijón (Spain) of Ceres and Bacchus which most probably was the original version. (Just how tricky Speckaert connoisseurship is may be gleaned from Kloeck’s caption under his fig. 7 of the respective sheet in Budapest that still reads ‘by or after’, although he definitely identifies this version as ‘after’ in the text). Kloeck also relegates the Jael and Sisera painting in Rotterdam to a follower of Speckaert.
Willy Laureyssens focuses on a large, mostly unknown group of landscape drawings of Rome and its surroundings by Hendrick de Clerck in the collection of Fürst zu Waldburg-Wolfegg (Württemberg), done during the artist’s stay in Rome in 1587; many of the sheets are signed with de Clerck’s monogram.
Maria Rosaria Nappi traces Sebastian Vrancx’s travels in Italy on the basis of a sketchbook (possibly two) at Chatsworth that gives detailed views of Rome and its surroundings, while Kristina Hermann Fiore writes about marine scenes by Paul Bril dating from the beginning of the seventeenth century. In her contribution, Krista de Jonge discusses influences of Italian architecture on Northern Renaissance buildings. Eevelina Borea’s article deals with Cornelis Cort’s years in Italy from 1565 until his death in 1578, where he worked in Venice, Florence, and Rome. Sylvie Béguin and Paola Pacht Bassani touch upon the exchanges between Flanders, Rome, Fontainebleau and Paris, and relations of the France of Henry IV with Flanders and Italy, while Vitor Serrão gives an overview of Portuguese art from 1550-1620.
The proceedings end with contributions by Sylvie Deswarte-Rosa and Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann; the latter discusses the ‘crux’ in Van Mander’s biography of Spranger in the Schilder-Boeck of 1604, namely that there seemed to be no immediate traces in Spranger’s art of his Roman sojourn. Kaufmann concludes that “Spranger’s approach considered as a form of artistic emulation may instead be seen to parallel the kind of Netherlandish reception of Italy that historians of other aspects of culture have found to pertain to manifestations at the imperial court (p. 301).”
The papers given at the Utrecht symposium concentrated on Flemish artists working in Rome during the second half of the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth centuries, when the presence of Dutch and Flemish artists living in Rome increased and with them the commissions they received. The publication omits two of the lectures, namely the one by Nicole Dacos on Dirck Barendsz in Rome and Taco Dibbits on foreground figures in Roman and Flemish narrative paintings. In his introduction, Bert W. Meijer briefly comes back to a series of drawings representing ancient and later Roman buildings published by Egger and others, which he very hypothetically had attributed to the little known Peter Vlerick (1539-81) in the catalogue accompanying the Fiamminghi a Roma exhibition. He now adds a group of 75 sheets of varying sizes in the Trinity College Library at Cambridge to the discussion, which in 1963, Dhanens had attributed, rather unconvincingly, to Giovanni da Bologna. Meijer tentatively introduces another hypothetical name, Lucas de Heere (1534-84). Nicole Dacos and Giovanna Sapori both spoke on Dirck Barendsz, but only the latter’s contribution was published. The focus was on the Last Judgement fresco of 1561 in the abbey church of Farfa which both, apparently independently, were in favour of attributing to Dirck Barendsz.
Emile van Binnebeke discovered a group of letters concerning the most important commission to Willem van Tetrode in Italy, the cabinet for Count Pitigliano, which he here documents. Herward Röttgen elaborates on the influence of Spranger’s style in Italy in the 1570s and 1580s, initiated in Rome by Raffaellino da Reggio in 1561 or soon thereafter in 1564, and Bartholomeus Spranger himself, who arrived there in 1566. Despite Gert Jan van der Sman’s rather in-depth discussion of the growing number of drawings by the elusive artist known as the Master of the Egmont albums (coined after a group of drawings at the Yale Art Gallery) his true identity still escapes us.
Caterina Limentani Virdis’s and Mari Pietrogiovanna’s contribution deals with the brothers Matthijs and Paul Bril and the murals in the Tower of the Winds in Rome, while Luuk Pijl elaborates on Paul Bril’s collaboration with Hans Rotten-hammer and other figure painters such as Giovanni Ferri and possibly Alessandro Turchi. Léna Wiederkehr ends with an overview of Jacob Matham’s reproductive engravings after other artists in Rome which in turn were instrumental for Karel van Mander’s knowledge about art in Rome before his own arrival in the 1570s.
Metropolitan Museum of Art