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07 Marder Reading

by: Corinne_Master_Note-scribbler

07 Marder Reading ArH 376U-001

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Notes for the 'Baldacchino' reading, useful for research papers!
Baroque Art
Jesse M. Locker
Class Notes




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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Corinne_Master_Note-scribbler on Monday February 22, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ArH 376U-001 at Portland State University taught by Jesse M. Locker in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 views. For similar materials see Baroque Art in Art History at Portland State University.


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Date Created: 02/22/16
Tod A. Marder, “The Baldacchino,” from Bernini and the Art of Architecture (New York, 1998) 1. What formal problems made the creation of a canopy over the altar of S.Peter necessary? 2. How much of the Baldacchino’s conception is original to Bernini? Does it matter? 3. What’s the intended relationship between the Baldacchino and statues in the church’s piers? Constantine’s Basilica to S.Peter’s as it Stands 1. 324 CE a. argued by 20th c archaeologists b. doubtless faith my 17th c contemporaries of Bernini 2. Church Annals a. composed by Cesare Baronius i. scholar of the Counter-Reformation b. work published before and after 1600 c. conclusion maintained in ecclesiastical literature i. breviaries ii. martyrologies iii. secular guidebooks 3. Emperor Constantine a. defeat of usurper Maxentius at Battle of Milvian Bridge w/ divine help i. en route to battle Constantine saw sign of cross in the skies w/ message: “in hoc signo vinces” (in this sign you shall conquer) ii. attributed victory to Christ iii. said to have made important ‘donation’ of lands and imperial powers to the papacy 1. forgery by Rena. scholars 4. Erected basilica at the shrine over the burial site of S.Peter, the first apostle 5. Pope Urban VIII established a ‘feast day’ to commemorate Constantine’s dedication of the basilica a. ordered spectacular monument; Baldacchino, to mark the tomb of S. Peter under the dome of the basilica i. intention: draw attention to the relationship between the tomb and the basilica built over it. “This association was the most conspicuous testament to the legacy linking papal authority to Constantine’s imperial benevolence.” (2) b. November 18th: professions of faith in hymn and verse made at entrance steps or private residences c. noted scholar and early patron of Bernini i. natural commission of young genius to design a new monument for site 6. survived the Middle Ages in dilapidated state a. efforts to shore up structure and enlarge area around altar made in early Rena. b. 16th c; Bramante support from Julius II to rebuild the entire fabric i. 1506, rebuilt S.Peter’s ii. con’t by Michelangelo iii. 1588 closed by Fontana and Giacomo della Porta iv. Julius II founded centralized terminus, eventually addition of nave 7. survival of congregational space and facade a. intention; venerable associations with early Christianity b. direct links in roots of church important during Counter-Reformatory era c. decision of Paul V (1605-21) to replace nave and facade rather than repair i. architect Carlo Maderno, 1. designed and built three-bay nave 2. designed and built new facade 3. finished 1617 8. preservation of the altar a. during construction of the exterior; tiburio (italian), or tegurium (latin), covered altar i. removed after dome completed b. interior of new S.Peter’s, old altar presided over enlarged space that dwarfed burial site c. fate of nave still undecided; character and dimensions of basilica’s interior fixed - planners redesign tomb marker 9. Old Altar a. positioned in the apse of the basilica b. eventually altar equipped with steps that permitted visitors to descend to a level closer to the tomb which could be venerated through an iron grate (2) i. behind steps: throne and seats from which the Pope and cardinals officiated at services c. altar marked by a ciborium; an architectural structure consisting of columns supporting a solid dome i. during Michelangelo construction; ciborium replaced with arrangement of eight columns and four pilasters with a covering ii. exact composition remains unknown iii. intention: replacement to make the altar a more conspicuous presence in the newly enlarged crossing space of the basilica iv. temporary structure d. Paul V establishment of second altar in the apse of basilica i. removed from the altar over the tomb ii. maintain the tradition of worship where a bishop (or Pope) could supervise liturgical events, surrounded by his entourage, from a permanent throne in the apse that was his symbol of authority (3) iii. demonstrated his reverence for two separate traditional positions: that of the officiating bishop in the apse and that of the main altar (3) iv. apse 1. installed a ciborium resembled drawing by Maderno’s aid Francesco Borromini a. spiral columns and a screen recalled the composition known from the old Constantinian fabric i. same columns reused, supplemented by new pieces to complete screen ii. original pieces thought to have been brought to Rome from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem by Constantine himself v. altar over tomb 1. replaced remodeled ciborium of 1594 with completely different concept 2. relying on Maderno’s talents a. cast aside notion of ciborium 3. evoked a baldachin a. consists of a cloth canopy (originally silk) held on staves or suspended from above b. hangs over altar or relic c. carried on staves over such relic or venerable person in procession d. inspired a new marker over the high altar i. built of impermanent materials e. documented from 1606 to 1622 4. concept of Maderno’s own a. baldachin with wooden staves supported by standing angels executed in stucco. Staves, not columns, raised a canopy fringed with lappets and tassels. 35 ft. (4) b. under Gregory XV, new marker again of Maderno i. angels knelt rather than stood at the foot of the staves; the staves were themselves more ornate than simple, including spiral fluting, cherubs, and vegetation; and the decorations were to be gilded as though made of metal. two meters shorter than later Bernini’s (4) c. aspired to the commission for the permanent Baldacchino i. chief sponsorship died with Paul V ii. survived pontificate of Gregory XV iii. survived Urban VIII in name and rank more than in respect or responsibility 1. Borromini “the newly elected Barberini pope took up the matter of a permanent tomb marker by telling Maderno quite frankly that ‘he would have to resign himself to see Bernini do this work.’ Old and so painfully ill with kidney stones that he had to be carried about his chores, Maderno had invented much of the monument we call Bernini’s” (5) Bernini’s Design 1. Congregation of the Fabbrica da San Pietro a. group of officials appointed to oversee the basilica b. issued public edict summoning “those who have architectural schemes, inventions, or otherwise for making the baldacchino” to present them in 15 days (5) i. form of presentation requested: modelli; refer to small three dimensional models or to drawings ii. compared and evaluated with regard to their suitability for execution. iii. formality after Pope 2. trial piece a. Maderno to Paul V finalized idea; twisted columns where the baldachin cover “touched neither the columns nor their cornice” subject to interpretation (5) b. remained in Bernini’s design i. ornamented them with gilded vegetal motifs ii. married columnar components of a ciborium to the form of a baldachin c. recalled the marble columns from the early Christian basilica - grander scale i. Maderno fused traditional components of the apse altar and its ciborium with the novel aspects of his own reliquary baldachin d. followed precedents, however, cast in bronze i. transferred the angels to the top of the columns to “carry” the canopy, and connect the columns with bronze emulations of silken lappets with tassels (5) ii. employed crossed ribs in emulation of those in the early Christian altar 1. columns connected by diagonally placed cross ribs recalling the cross ribs over the original Constantinian altar 2. atop; a figure of the Risen Christ 3. draped over the superstructure, streams of cloth suggested the support for the canopy (6) 3. composition a. bothersome for it's uncanonical union of two previously separate forms in a single structure i. Borromini attention to Maderno’s fusion of typologies - deliberate separation ii. citing criticism of Bernini by the painter Agostino Ciampelli, who “said that baldachins are not supported by columns but by staves, and that the baldachin should not run together with the cornice of the columns, and in any case he wanted to show that it is borne by angels: and he added that it was a chimera: (6) iii. the cognoscenti recognized an error in architectural syntax: the silken baldachin and columns of ciboria belong to different typologies and should be distinguished as such by not touching one another (6) b. revision of thinking i. second phase of design, Bernini invented angels who stand tall and hold the canopy distinctly above, and separated form the columns ii. little putti inserted below the Risen Christ c. alteration of Maderno’s design i. columns instead of staves ii. angels as support and division rather than at base 1. challenges of clarifying the relationships of columns, canopy, and ribs d. difficulty in supporting the superstructure and its ornament i. solution in drawing by Borromini 1. assisted in execution of commission 2. partial view of the Baldacchino in situ; relationships of scale between it and the various features of the crossing and vaulting 3. scheme of Maderno? 4. ribs of superstructure attached to the columns and the angels appear to hold the canopy by means of ties suspended from their hands ii. Bernini’s drawing 1. away from logic of Borromini 2. retains putti figures omitted by Borromini 3. canopy hangs from the level of the columns, as final development iii. solution 1. S shaped curves on columns remain 2. ribs formed as curved volutes appearing to rest on the columns less heavily 3. putti removed from ribs and placed on either side of the canopy, now directly connected to the columns 4. garlands of the angels support the ribs of the structure rather than that of the canopy 5. typologies reconstituted. Form, Construction, and Meaning 1. columns on marble pedestals with outer faces bearing papal escutcheons a. Barberini bees arranged at the center of a smooth shield surrounded by ornamental strapwork (10) b. crossed keys of S.Peter and papal tiara with triple crown at the top - draped with decorative cord, carved to disappear into and emerge from the shield that melts into a distorted monster face i. particularly prominent placement in view of a celebrant, however practically invisible from the pavement of the basilica, known by Bernini ii. cast small objects- a rosary, a portrait medal, a lizard, as ‘hidden’ compliments to the patron and celebrants iii. “To view these intimate sculptural gestures is to become psychologically engaged with the monument in a fascinating way that effects a bond between observer and object.” (10) c. inclusion of bees alighting on the vines - nod to the Barberini, also insects revered for their attraction to the sweet odor of sanctity; represent a formal double entendre i. “The bees testify to the sanctity of the place and to the reverence of the Barberini” (10) 2. casting by ‘lost-wax’ process a. dubbed ‘lost lizard’ process b. casting from real natural materials i. reduced to ashes by the molten bronze c. dependance on actual natural elements rather than sculpture d. substitution of the traditional Christian vine leaves - symbolic of the Eucharist - for leaves that more closely resembled the laurel that was a Barberini symbol (11) i. emphasis on Pope’s intent to personalize contribution to the basilica 3. criticism a. Benini’s heavy reliance on professional founders for the casting process: professional sculptors in bronze should carve their own branches and cast their own pieces, leading their workmen rather than relying extensively on their expertise (11) 4. innovation a. cavity of each shaft of column was filled with concrete, increasing weight, and strength i. columns became ferroconcrete components b. bronze from porch of the Pantheon i. taken for Baldacchino and to fortify the new city walls ii. bronze also taken from Saint Peter’s dome iii. “Quod non fecerunt barbari, fecerunt Barberini” what wasn’t done by the barbarians was done by the Barberini 1. words of Urban VIII’s physician Giulio Mancini 2. underscoring the pope’s concern to gather bronze for symbolic and defensive purposes at almost any price (11) 5. unveiled in 1633 a. Feast of Saints Peter and Paul b. celebrated by the distribution of the medal of 1633 6. drafts a. drawings by the hand of Borromini for the upper parts of the Baldacchino i. monument in situ ii. assistance sometimes construed by modern historians as Bernini’s guarantee of the Baldacchino’s successful completion (12) b. Upper parts i. Bernini placed huge bronze angels that seem to alight on their respective platforms with the lithe grace that belies their actual weight (12) 1. function unclear 2. surmounted by figure of Risen Christ c. difficulty in composition i. suspension of bronze canopy 1. volutes rise to a peak in pronounced curves at the top and bottom, while the baldachin canopy is fixed between the cornices of the columns 2. “The unseen force that generates the flow of drapery over the angels as they alight on the columns also animates the lappets and tassels of the canopy. The need to anchor this canopy to the tomb is both symbolic and structural and is expressed in the way that all elements above it appear to be in motion.” (13) 3. ii. transference of weight of Risen Christ 1. replaced by the symbol of the orb and cross 2. motivated by iconographical, not structural considerations 3. exchange a eucharistic symbol for a more generalized altar image or, alternatively, with a superstructure that represents a real crown (12) 4. represent temporal and spiritual dominions of the pope, respectively, that the eventual volutes are parts of a martyr’s crown, and that the crown alludes to the imperial sign supposedly given by Constantine to Pope Sylvester to acknowledge his imperial status. 7. Completion of monument in S.Peter’s a. Annibale Carracci “he is still to come, some prodigious artisan who must make two great monuments proportioned to the vastness of this temple - one in the center and one at the end.” (16) i. prophesy in Bernini’s youth ii. Bernini to supposedly wish aloud “Oh, if it could only be me!” iii. claimed by biographer Filippo Baldinucci b. interrupted the creation of Apollo and Daphne and David c. “Our best evidence for this conclusion is that Carlo Maderno, rather than the young genius, provided the conceptual and formal foundations for the monument we call the Baldacchino” (16) i. of Borromini’s nephew “Knowing what Borromini had accomplished for Maderno at the fabric of S.Peter’s…[Bernini] begged [Borromini] not to abandon him at this time...since he was already so well informed about everything. And Bernini attended to his sculpture and in architectural matters he left everything for Borromini to do; and meanwhile Bernini feigned the role of architect...before the Pope, when in fact he was quite innocent of the profession at the time” - innocentissimo is the marvelous word used (16) ii. Unquestionably, Borromini employed his structural expertise in a similar way, by helping to realize the Baldacchino, and, as his years of disillusioned practice mounted, he may have subconsciously appropriated credit for the inventions of his master Maderno. (16) d. joining of the tasseled canopy of the baldachin with a patently architectural form, the ciborium, was Bernini’s contribution i. intervention no more of less than a renegotiation of typological boundaries, changing the definitions of propriety and decorum to include the sort of monument that by symbolic and structural constraints he was bound to execute Crossing and Related Operations 1. Congregation of the Fabbrica commissioned Bernini to embellish the piers that defined the sacred center of the basilica a. only sizable monument at the time in this space was the tomb of Paul III b. Bernini’s ambition to redecorate the niches on the main level with over-life size statues that would glamorize the presence of the relics while consigning celebratory altars to the realm of the crypt c. Unusual attraction of Bernini’s scheme was the coordination of the statues and the elaboration of the reliquary balconies to match the scale of the Baldacchino, interact with it, and hence draw the whole space of the crossing into a dialogue charged by gesture, symbol, and metaphor (17) i. S.Andrew - Francesco Duquesnoy 1. reference to the glory of his own martyrdom; paradigm of Christ’s - and a reference to the revelation of Peter’s presence by the Baldacchino ii. S.Helen - Andrea Bolgi 1. more contained, responds to the Baldacchino with outstretched arm iii. S.Veronica - Francesco Mochi 1. low focus of attention 2. seems immune to the Baldacchino’s scale in the vastness of the crossing 3. ardor visceral rather than contemplative iv. S. Longinus - Bernini 1. acknowledges the true status of the crucified Christ 2. interacts with overall programme 2. Relics in S.Peter’s a. Colonna Santa i. column touched by Christ in the Temple of Solomon at Jerusalem b. Veronica’s veil c. piece of lance that pierced Christ’s side on the Cross d. Saint Andrew’s head 3. Tomb of Urban VIII a. replaced Paul III’s within S.Peter’s b. figure of death represented writing the name of Urban VIII in a book c. “The notion of this celebration of death, coming as it does near the end of Bernini’s work on the Baldacchino, recalls the fact that the tomb marker itself should be thought of as a giant apparatus celebrating death and salvation” (18)


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