Antonella Capitanio - The Goldsmith’s Art for the Pope

February 19, 2013

The Power of Luxury: Art and Culture at the Italian Courts in Machiavelli’s Lifetime
The Australian Institute of Art History
The University of Melbourne
19 and 20 February, 2013

Session Two - The Decorative Arts at Court
Tuesday 19 February 2.30 pm

Antonella Capitanio
The Goldsmith’s Art for the Pope: the Tiara for Julius II and Other XVI Century Precious Objects

Machiavelli declares that the model of the “fortunate Prince” is pope Julius II: his most famous image is for us the portrait by Raphael, wearing the typical papal skull-cap called “camauro”, but Raphael portrayed him also in The Disputation of Holy Sacrament as St. Gregorio Magno, wearing the tiara, the papal headdress characterized by three crowns, symbol of his triple power. While kings use the same crown along the time, each pope has instead his tiara, and often more than one: so, just one year later the famous fresco Julius had a new much more precious tiara made by Caradosso. Even if they say that in 1527 Clemente VII had to melt all the tiaras with all other papal jewels to pay 400.000 ducats asked as ransom by Charles V troops, Caradosso tiara survived till the time of Napoleon and we can see it in an accurate drawing made at the beginning of XVIII century for the collection of John Talman, first director of the Society of Antiquaries in London. Thanks to drawings commissioned by Talman we also know the pectoral made by Cellini for Clemente VII Medici in 1529, the tiara of Paolo III Farnese and the tiara of Clemente VIII Aldobrandini, made by Diomede e Curzio Vanni between 1596 and 1599: a little history of XVI century great goldsmith's art.


Antonella Capitanio is researcher at Pisa University, where she teaches “History of Decorative Arts”. Her research has focused on the history of liturgical vessels and old marked silverware. She collaborated with various institutions for museum catalogues and temporary exhibitions, in particular with Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence; Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Milan; Museo “Amedeo Lia”, La Spezia; Museo Diocesano, Cortona.

Among her publications: Orafi e marchi lucchesi dal XIV al XIX secolo (1986); Tra arte e industria. Argentieri italiani nelle Grandi Esposizioni del secondo Ottocento (1996); Arte orafa e Controriforma. La Toscana come crocevia (2001); John Talman and the Liturgy of the Catholic Church (2008); Arte orafa a Lucca (2010).

Image notes
La Disputa. Raphael and workshop (detail). source wikimedia commons link

nb. Entry created May 4 2013. Dated to Feb 19 (date of presentation) for indexing purposes


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...