Study grants for international students, Unibo Action 2 – A. Y. 2016/17
An overdue exhibition on Schiavone establishes a new master of Venice’s XVI century painting by Marco Bona Castellotti (Source Sole24ore)
In his Dialogue on painting (1548) Venetian historian Marco Pino uses the verb “empiastàr,” kneading or besmearing, to describe the painting style of Andrea Meldola, known as Schiavone (born in Zara, lived 1510 – 1563).
In the same year Aretino addressed the painter in an overly sentimental (and paternalistic) letter that is open to ambiguous interpretation.
In 1540 Vasari, in Venice for work, commissioned Schiavone to paint a huge canvas depicting the Battle between Charles V and Barbarossa, “one of his best and a really beautiful work.” After some time, however, he said that anything that was good in Schiavone’s painting was done “by disgrace” (i.e. by accident).
In the Seventeenth century, the painter enjoyed appreciation from Ridolfi, albeit with some reservations on the lack of skill in his drawings, as well as from Boschini, who highly praised Schiavone.
The overall critical appraisal of Meldola’s work cannot be described as electrifying, not least because of the grim little story that crept into tradition, and that blamed his sloppiness on the fact that he was very poor and forced to earn his bread with his paintbrushes.
Today, the first major monographic exhibition dedicated to the artist (curated by Dal Pozzolo and Puppi, with essays by the two curators, as well as by Miscellaneo, Polati, Borean, Bellieni, and others) sounds like a due compensation.
The fruitful reports from the archives, from which new genealogical and historical findings emerged, the in-depth analysis on collecting and on Meldola’s versatility, the review of his body of works, are proof that this beautiful exhibition is the result of tireless studies, not a last resort endeavor.
This well-concerted scientific commitment reveals an artist whose personality was much more prominent than passed down in tradition, so that Schiavone regains here the importance he deserves in the firmament of Sixteenth century Venice.
What sets him apart is his being able – even in a discontinuous way – to use a personal and modern language, his being capable of anticipating pictorial solutions that would later be seen in the Eighteenth century, without ever slipping into shallow lightness and languor, remaining instead on a high dramatic register, especially in his works subsequent to 1550, marked by brush strokes laden with excitement and fascination, which would later be employed by Mazzoni and Maffei.
Schiavone lived during a period of transition from the Renaissance to Mannerism, and his portrayal of vibrant figures, moving like agitated flames, can be likened to the Venetian Mannerist style that, originating from a diverse understanding of Parmigianino’s work, entered the world of Titian – who was a Mannerist for a short time -, Veronese and Tintoretto, to whom Schiavone returned the favor when the two tackled the same theme of Cain and Abel.
Meldola’s version anticipates Tintoretto’s and appears to be poetically linked to Titian and his bright and leafy landscapes, while Tintortetto’s version focuses on the dark spots and arranges contrast as a plastic function, a bit like a Venetian Ribera ahead of his time.
The fact that he trod in the footsteps of Parmigianino is undeniable in works such as The Marriage of Cupid and Psyche – that for its sinuous lines anticipates Spranger, although we find here a sense of tenderness that Spranger didn’t even dream of conveying – and emerges mainly in his beautiful corpus of engravings and drawings, that evolve into a more intense mood.
(Splendors of the Renaissance in Venice. Andrea Schiavone among Parmigianino, Tintoretto and Titian. Correr Museum, until April 10)
Italian ambassador Mauro Massoni on Sunday attended the Italian Institute of Culture’s archaeological event at the Grenadier Towers opposite Jacaranda hotel, Westlands.
The ambassador in the company of his wife Olga Massoni, witnessed the Italian scientist narrate their experiences after a visit to Turkana region. The scientists who included Lorenzo Rizzini and Savino Di Lernia, were taken round the region by National Museums of Kenya senior research scientist Emmanuel Ndiema.
The Italian Institute of Culture director Francesca Chiesa said Kenya and Italy will continue to partner in cultural-tourism.