Colnaghi Collections_Vol 01 - Page 25

From an early date, Spanish patrons developed a taste for
ancient and all’antica works of art. Don Pedro Afán de Ribera,
1st Duke of Alcalá and viceroy of Naples from 1558 -1571,
imported numerous Roman antiquities and contemporary
Italian sculptures for the redecoration of his family’s renowned
Sevillian residence, the Casa de Pilatos (fig. 10).14 For its
“archaeological garden” he commissioned works like Giovanni
Fancelli’s extraordinary, newly discovered Hercules (ca. 1568,
cat. no. 8), an exercise in all’antica iconography, reinvented
through the prism of Florentine Mannerism.
Giovanni da Nola was another native Italian favoured by the
Spanish nobility. His work for Spanish diplomats residing in
Naples, such as his tomb monument for Don Pedro Álvarez de
Toledo (fig. 11), reveals how interlinked networks of Spanish
and Italian ruling classes influenced taste and patterns of
patronage. Don Pedro, viceroy of Naples from 1532-1553,
died in Florence while visiting his son-in-law, Grand Duke
Cosimo I. Following Don Pedro’s death, Cosimo de’ Medici
gifted his heirs the Carrara marble for his tomb monument,
All of the works discussed above, in their imitation of classical
the commission having already been contracted between the
sculpture and all’antica language, reveal how the authoritative
patron and artist. While stylistically Giovanni da Nola’s work
power of Antiquity was repurposed to suit the requirements
shows the influence of Tuscan prototypes, Robert Gaston and
and ambitions of the Spanish aristocracy; at the same time
Andrew Galdy have recently argued that iconographically the
they demonstrate modern artists’ self-conscious competition
tomb owes much to Spanish devotional practices. The Mars
with ancient models, the paradigm by which Italian sculptors
(ca. 1545, cat. no. 9), a new addition to the artist’s oeuvre,
measured themselves. The Spanish nobility’s taste for Italian
was probably executed shortly before this monument and is
all’antica sculpture is clearly expressed in the career of Leone
characterized by a similar virtuoso carving of military dress.
Leoni, whose professional success hinged on the patronage of
The bust’s origin in the collection of the house of Cardona
the emperor, Charles V, and his son Philip II. 16 Even works with
suggests a link to the family of Nola’s earlier viceregal patron,
religious subjects, like his Crucifixion with the Virgin, Saint John, and
Ramon Folch de Cardona, whose tomb monument was also
Mary Magdalene (1550-1575, cat. no. 10), are indebted to ancient
executed by the artist.
prototypes and art forms.
Fig. 10. Casa de Pilatos, Seville.
Fig. 11. Giovanni da Nola,
Tomb monument for Don
Pedro Álvarez de Toledo,
Naples, San Giacomo
degli Spagnoli.


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