Technical experimentation in the art of Sebastiano del Piombo: some further thoughts
Technical experimentation in the art of Sebastiano del Piombo: some further thoughts
Fig. 2 / Sebastiano del
Piombo, Portrait of Andrea
Doria, ca. 1526, oil on slate,
62.3 x 46.5 cm, Rome,
Collezione Doria Pamphilij.
Fig. 3 / Sebastiano del
Piombo, Giulia Gonzaga, ca.
1532, Wiesbaden, Museum
Although Vasari mentions several other portraits on a
stone surface such as one of “a Signor Piero Gonzaga”,
these either no longer survive or have not been
conclusively identified.6 To the eight or nine previously
known can now be added, however, three fascinating
portraits on stone supports, that are either by Sebastiano
or closely related to his work: these were either unknown
to me or fell beyond the scope of my previous work.
Two of these paintings have appeared only very recently
in the Sebastiano literature: one is the Portrait of a Man
in Armour, sometimes called Ippolito de’Medici (fig. 1), now
in a private collection; the other is a second Portrait of
Andrea Doria (fig. 2), still in the family’s collection.7 There
is also the three-quarter length Portrait of Giulia Gonzaga
(fig. 3), now held in the Museum at Wiesbaden, which
has long been known but little discussed, and about
which scholarly opinion has remained divided.
Accepting this addition of three works to the surviving
corpus of paintings on a stone support by Sebastiano
would represent a significant increase, adding a third to
their number. They would also present a more productive
picture of Sebastiano’s later career, as these three were all
painted between the Sack of Rome in 1527 and the mid1530s. Elsewhere I have proposed a radical rethinking
of Sebastiano’s chronology, arguing that several works
were painted earlier than previously thought, and that
the artist had already virtually stopped painting by the
mid to late 1530s, as the unfinished condition of several
of these paintings on stone testifies.8 Indeed, with regard
to the lost Portrait of Piero Gonzaga, Vasari states specifically
that Sebastiano: “laboured three years in finishing it”.9
Although, it might also be true, as Angela Cerasuolo
has opined in conversation, that Sebastiano may have
been interested in the effects of non-finito anyway.


Powered by

Full screen Click to read
Paperturn flip book
Download as PDF
Shopping cart
Full screen
Exit full screen