Pages

Monday, March 15, 2010

Barocci: The Cross

Federico Barocci ca.1535-1612
Christ on the Cross
1604
Oil on panel
374 x 246 cm
The Royal Collection, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid

Federico Barocci ca.1535-1612
A study for Christ on the Cross with two Angels (recto title)
Recto: black chalk, heightened with white, squared for enlargement and transfer verso, black chalk, with traces of red and white chalks on blue paper
515 mm x 410 m
Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge

Barocci was highly esteemed as an artist in his lifetime

He only stayed a short time in Rome. He stayed mainly in his native city, Urbino where he was patronised by the Dukes of Urbino

Barocci strted off as a Mannerist but fully entered into the Counter Reformation.

By 1566, he joined a lay order of Capuchins, an offshoot of Franciscans. He may have been influenced by Saint Philip Neri. Neri commissioned two completed works from Barocci: The Visitation (1583-6) and The Presentation of the Virgin (1593-94)

Christ on the Cross was commissioned by Francesco Maria II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino. In the painting the landscape reproduces the view of the via San Giovanni from Barocci's house in Urbino. In the foreground on the right is the Convent of Santa Caterina and the Ducal Palace with the “mercatale” spreading from its base right up to the Hermitage of San Rocco on the right. In the middle ground is the village of Valbona, with the Palazzo Palma, and beyond it, a lush landscape. The hills in the background are Catria, Petrano and Nerone, which defined the geographic limits of the Duchy of Urbino.

Federico Barocci ca.1535-1612
The Deposition from the Cross
1569
Oil on panel
Cappella di San Bernardino, The Cathedral of San Lorenzo in Perugia

Federico Barocci ca.1535-1612
Head of the Swooning Virgin: Study for the Deposition,
1568/69
Black chalk and charcoal, with stumping, and with traces of white chalk, on tan laid paper, pieced and incised
294 x 239 mm
The Art Institute of Chicago

Federico Barocci
1535-1612
A study for a female figure supporting the swooning virgin
Red chalk. The four corners unevenly cut.
262 by 194mm. (maximum)
Private collection


Federico Barocci ca.1535-1612
Studies for the head, left arm and body of Christ; Study for a figure in the Perugia 'Deposition' (verso title)
Recto: black chalk, heightened with white, squared for enlargement and transfer verso, black chalk, with traces of red and white chalks on blue paper
515 mm x 410 m
Fitzwilliam Museum at the University of Cambridge,


The Deposition is an early work of Barocci and is a masterpiece of Mannerism. It has been newly restored.

It was commissioned for the Chapel of San Bernardino in the Cathedral in Perugia by the Nobile Collegio della Mercanzia of the City. It was installed on the altar of the chapel on 24 December 1569. This was the first major commission Barocci received on his return from Rome,

His biographer Giovanni Bellori exaggerated when he claimed that Barocci always worked from life, as the artist did draw numerous preparatory studies. His diligence did not always please his patrons, however, for they often waited for long periods on his commissions.

Barocci unveiled a new type of colour, called “cangiante” or changing, by his contemporaries that both dazzled and delighted the eye. Barocci’s mesmerizing colour, however was given order by his excellent draftsmanship