Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Palazzo Milesi Vases

Vessels bearing classical motifs first painted 
on walls at the end of the Renaissance; 
& reproduced as Mannerist-styled engravings

Palazzo Milesi vase 1 via

Palazzo Milesi vase 2 via

Palazzo Milesi vase 3 via

Palazzo Milesi vase 4 via

Palazzo Milesi vase 5 via

Palazzo Milesi vase 6 via

Palazzo Milesi vase 7 via

Palazzo Milesi vase 8 via

Palazzo Milesi vase 9 via

Palazzo Milesi vase 10 via

"When Polidoro da Caravaggio arrived in Rome around 1515, possibly untrained, he was hired to carry plaster for Raphael's workshop in the Vatican. Under foreman Giulio Romano and co-worker Perino del Vaga, Polidoro advanced quickly to fresco painter. Between 1524 and 1527, Polidoro became renowned for his monochrome re-creations of Roman history that spanned palace facades."
[quote source]

"Just before the Sack of Rome in 1527, Polidoro [..] decorated the facade of the Palazzo Milesi in the city with a series of monochrome frescoes, depicting classical scenes, trophies and vases. The wit and invention, particularly of the designs of the vases, meant that these motifs became widely admired, and their fame spread as a number of series of prints reproduced them."
[quote source]

"The subject of the paintings is the myth of Niobe, although many scenes were inspired by the reliefs of Colonna Traiana. The name of the street - via della Maschera d'Oro (Golden Palace Road) - is due to a detail of the decoration showing a little boy hiding behind a golden mask."
[quote source]

[Google Maps: Via della Maschera D'Oro, 7, Rome, Province of Rome, Italy - you can catch glimpses of the wall figures with street view [also]

"Composed of illusionistic classical figure scenes, trophies and vases, they were not only highly visible but also revolutionary in design. Most remarkable were the vases painted on the Palazzo Milesi shortly before 1527, which Vasari [artist/historian], even though accustomed to the distortions of later Mannerist design, described as being 'so curiously wrought that it would be hard to find anything more beautiful or novel'. Perhaps because they had no need even to pretend to archaeological correctness, Polidoro's vases carried fantasy a good deal further than [contemporaries].

The vases rapidly became famous and were drawn by many artists in Rome. By 1544, versions had appeared in a Roman set of prints and some of the designs reached France in the middle years of the century through interpretations by Ducerceau and René Boyvin. It was not, however, until 1582 that the first set of prints dedicated to them alone appeared, engraved by Cherubino Alberti in Rome.

The Palazzo Milesi vases, being on the second floor, were accordingly severely distorted so that they would read correctly from below. Unlike earlier printmakers, Alberti made no attempt to correct the distortions. Shown in their distorted form but viewed from straight ahead, the striking boldness and complexity of Polidoro's ideas was considerably increased, setting in train a long series of reissues, copies and other versions. [..]

Although prints after Polidoro's vases led to many imitations in metal, stone and ceramic [..], their picturesque shapes made them equally or perhaps more influential as a source of motifs and pictorial props for decorative and easel painters, including artists like Sir Joshua Reynolds and, much later, Cézanne.

Their most important effect, however, was to license the distortions, rearrangements and additions to the classical language which characterized the increasingly bizarre baroque and rococo vases conceived in the hundred years after 1660."
[quote source | Amazon]

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