Colnaghi Foundation Journal 02 - Page 102

The taste for Paolo Veronese in early Stuart London
The taste for Paolo Veronese in early Stuart London
Fig. 9 / Paolo Veronese, ca.
1580, Leda and the Swan, oil
on canvas, 113 x 94.5 cm,
Ajaccio, Musée Fesch.
Fig. 10 / Paolo Veronese
(and workshop?), Washing
of Disciples’ Feet, ca. 1580s,
oil on canvas, 139 x 283 cm,
Prague, Prague Castle.
Fig. 11 / Paolo Veronese,
Anointing of David, ca. 1550,
oil on canvas, 364 x 173 cm,
Vienna, Kunsthistorisches
Boulogne in November 1624, Gerbier urged him, for
the sake above all of presenting his Veroneses to the
best possible effect, to “dress” the hitherto bare walls of
the room, as was the practice in the mansions of Paris.46
It may be noted that in 1635, and so probably already
in 1624, eight of the nine in the homogenous group of
Aarschot pictures were hung together in the showpiece
space of the Gallery.
Buckingham no doubt shared Gerbier’s obvious
enthusiasm for Veronese; indeed, this may in part
account for his patronage of Orazio Gentileschi, whom
he may have regarded as a modern reincarnation of
Veronese on account of his light, cool colour range
and shimmering surfaces.47 In any case, earlier in the
same year – perhaps following a suggestion from his
agent – he sent a presumptuous message to the Venetian
government by way of its ambassador in London: “The
Duke of Buckingham desireth by any means possible to
have certain pictures, made by Paul Veronese, that are
in a certain room or passage towards the great library
in the palace of St Mark at Venice.”48 The description
of the site is garbled, probably as a result of being sent
through more than one intermediary, but it almost
certainly refers to Veronese’s three large roundels on
the ceiling of Sansovino’s Library, which Gerbier must
have admired on his visit to Venice in 1621 and thought
would look very well on a ceiling at York House. But
although the ambassador pointed out to his government
that Buckingham was a highly influential personage, and


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