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Giuliano da Sangallo’s Surface Architecture

Modelling

Giuliano da Sangallo devoted particular attention to the modelling of architectural details. One of the innumerable proofs of this close attention is represented by the ornate capital sculpted with fruits and flowers in the courtyard of the Palazzo Gondi, on which the photo of the Brogi photographic studio focuses. Equally opulent are the capitals over the fluted pilasters in the Sacristy of Santo Spirito. These have undergone a figurative transformation: a winged siren is crouching at the centre, flanked by two naked male figures. The treatment of the figures reflects Sangallo’s creative engagement with ancient art, which he had closely studied not only during his travels, but also in the collections of Lorenzo the Magnificent. The results of these studies are also found in Sangallo’s sketchbooks, as in the Tacchuino Senese (now in the Biblioteca comunale degli Intronati in Siena) or in the Codex Barberiniano (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana in Rome).
At times, in Sangallo, the figurative or floral motifs enter into an extraordinarily tense relationship with the architecture in which they are placed, as in the courtyard of the Palazzo Scala in Florence. The ornamental treatment of the details also betrays the architect’s formative experiences as a woodcarver and as an expert in intarsia: this is especially striking in the almost graphic modelling of the coffering in the vestibule of the Sacristy of Santo Spirito. Often, however, the delicacy and subtlety of these ornamental details can scarcely be appreciated by the naked eye; they are situated too high above him for the observer to be able to distinguish them. Hence the importance of photographs: the numerous photos of details, in part in digital format, that are to be found in the Photothek, permit their more precise study.


Giuliano da Sangallo: Entablature and base (Baths of Diocletian) / Floor plan of two mausoleums. In: Taccuino Senese, Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati, fol. 15v/16r. Photo: Unknown photographer, collotype, 20,8 x 26,6 cm, before 1902, inv. no. 64190 (bequest by Cornelius von Fabriczy)

Giuliano da Sangallo, Trajan’s Market in Rome. In: Codex Barberiniano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Barb. Lat. Vat. 4424, fol. 5v. Photo: Gustavo Lucchetti, aristotype, 19,7 x 24,8 cm, before 1902, inv. no. 26219 (bequest by Cornelius von Fabriczy)

Giuliano da Sangallo, Crypt of Balbus in Rome. In: Codex Barberiniano, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Barb. Lat. Vat. 4424, fol. 4v. Photo: Gustavo Lucchetti, albumen print, 19,9 x 23,4 cm, before 1902, inv. no. 26225 (bequest by Cornelius von Fabriczy)

Giuliano da Sangallo: Judith with the head of Holofernes. In: Taccuino Senese, Biblioteca Comunale degli Intronati, fol. 32r. Photo: Gustavo Lucchetti, albumen print, 24,9 x 17,6 cm, before 1902, inv. no. 26226 (bequest by Cornelius von Fabriczy)

Florence, Palazzo Gondi, capital. Photo: Studio Brogi, before 1907, silver gelatin print, 25,3 x 19,3 cm, inv. no. 112155

Florence, Palazzo Gondi, staircase balustrade and capital. Photo: Luigi Artini, 1981, silver gelatin print, 23,7 x 17,9 cm, inv. no. 417462

Florence, Santa Maria Maddalena dei Pazzi, atrium (detail). Photo: Hilde Lotz-Bauer, before 1943, silver gelatin print, 23,8 x 18,1 cm, inv. no. 382338

Florence, Santo Spirito, sacristy, figurative capitals. Photo: Cristian Ceccanti, 2014, digital photograph, inv. no. 614474

Florence, palazzo Gherardesca, the former Scala, courtyard. Photo: Luigi Artini, 1982, silver gelatin print, 17,8 x 23,9 cm, inv. no. 393508

Florence, palazzo Gherardesca, the former Scala, courtyard (detail). Photo: Luigi Artini, 1982, silver gelatin print, 17,9 x 23,8 cm, inv. no. 405074

Florence, Santo Spirito, vestibule of the sacristy, arched ceiling (detail). Photo: Studio Brogi, before 1907, silver gelatin print, 25,2 x 20 cm, inv. no. 158490

Florence, palazzo Gherardesca, the former Scala, stucco ceiling of the studiolo (Detail). Photo: Paolo Bacherini, 2002, silver gelatin print, 17,7 x 23,5 cm, inv. no. 573225

Poggio a Caiano (Prato): Medici villa, pronaos. Photo: Cristian Ceccanti, 2014, digital photography, inv. no. 614488

Prato, Santa Maria delle Carceri, altar. Photo: Studio Brogi, around 1900, albumen print, 24,9 x 19,7 cm, inv. no. 87726

Prato, Santa Maria delle Carceri, portal (detail). Photo: Fratelli Alinari, before 1928, silver gelatin print, 24,9 x 19,2 cm, inv. no. 51542

Florence, Santa Maria Novella, Gondi Chapel, side bench (detail). Photo: Ralph Lieberman, 1995, silver gelatin print, 25,1 x 20,3 cm, inv. no. 538150




© KHI in Florence | 18.09.2019 01:30:27