Italy Artists from Middle Ages to the 19th Century Part 1
Middle Ages. – Sporadic examples of Italian artists who are called abroad by sovereigns and prelates, have existed since the Carolingian time; but those who really started the glorious tradition of Italian art in the world were the Comacini (v.) and Campionesi masters of the Middle Ages: talented builders who worked throughout Europe. Numerous traces of their work remain: and they are for the most part purely Lombard motifs that are found, often under the coatings and additions of later ages, in the most ancient cathedrals of Spain, France, the Germanic countries, Hungary and perhaps of Russia; a document (1175) attests that Raimondo Lombardo, with other fellow villagers, built the cathedral of Urgel (Spain); the destroyed S. Magno of Regensburg had been built (1139) by a master from Como. To Pietro Oderisi, a Roman, belonging to the group of Roman marble workers called Cosmati (v.), the two oldest (13th century) tombs of the kings of England are due, that of Edward the Confessor and that of Henry III (London, Westminster Abbey). In the century XIV the most important group of Italian artists abroad is at the papal court of Avignon: according to medicinelearners, they decorated the cathedral and the palace of the popes with altarpieces and frescoes; at the head of the group is Simone Martini (v.), whose work exerted a very strong influence on the French miniature of the fourteenth century. But already at the beginning of the century Filippo Rusuti and other Roman painters were at the service of the king of France; then in Bohemia Tommaso da Modena sent, or executed, paintings of him; in Spain the mausoleum of S. Eulalia (Barcelona, cathedral) was the work of a disciple of Giovanni Pisano,
From the Renaissance to the nineteenth century. – These were, so to speak, the prodromes of the Italian artistic expansion in Europe: the real, great flowering began and reached its maximum splendor with the affirmation of the new style, which arose precisely in Italy, of the Renaissance. Before this artistic renewal takes place in many other regions, it is necessary that Italian artists go to those regions and bring there the first germs of that art. In order of time, the first nations that attracted artists and works of art from Italy were Spain and Hungary: in Spain, they already worked in the first half of the century. XV the painter Niccolò di Dello fiorentino (frescoes from the cathedral of Salamanca) and the sculptor Giuliano da Firenze (cathedral of Valenza); Masolino then went to Hungary, where the reign of Mattia Corvino was to recall works and artists from Italy. From the beginning of the century. XVI, the influx of works and artists from Italy to Spain was continuous and growing: we remember the sculptors and architects Aprile da Carona and the Gaggini da Bissone who worked for palaces and churches in Seville, on the spot, or by sending sculpted marbles in the their laboratories in Genoa; among the Florentine sculptors, P. Torrigiano who worked in Seville, Giovanni Moreto who worked for a long time in Zaragoza, and above all D. Fancelli, author of the sepulchral monuments of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, in the cathedral of Granata. Throughout the 1500s Italian art continued to give Spain very numerous works; it is enough to recall only that great center of Italian art, which was the Escoriale (v.), adorned by painters such as Luca Cambiaso, Bartolomeo and Vincenzo Carducci, Pellegrino Tibaldi, Federico Zuccari; and sculptors such as Iacopo da Trezzo, Leone and Pompeo Leoni, to name only the major ones. And the Greek came from Venice to Spain. In the following century the remains of Charles V, Philip II and their successors were placed in the great royal burial ground called Pantheon of the kings, also in the Escoriale, built by the Roman GB Crescenzi and decorated with the sculptures of Antonio Ceroni della Valsolda and Pietro Tacca, Florentine, also author of the monuments of Philip III and Philip IV in Madrid; the church of the Escoriale appeared of the immense frescoes by L. Giordano. In the century The royal palace of Madrid was built by the Piedmontese GB Sacchetti and designed by the Sicilian Filippo Juvara, adorned inside with statues and paintings by Italians, including the frescoes by Tiepolo in the throne room. The royal palace of S. Ildefonso is the work of Juvara and Sacchetti; from the same century are the cathedral of Madrid, due to Virgilio Rabaglio from Ticino, the church of S. Francesco, the gates of S. Vincenzo and Alcalá, the buildings of the Dogana, Marina and Porcellane, works by F. Sabatini. The Prado Museum has hundreds of works made by Italian artists for Spain: we remember only those of Titian. Important was the work of Italian artists in Portugal. Andrea Sansovino stayed there for a long time: and traces of his work and his influence are now being found; in Florence seven volumes of Manuel’s great Bible were illuminated by the Attavante (Lisbon, National Archives); in Rome the altar of the relics was worked for the church of S. Rocco in Lisbon, by Maini and by A. Giusti who then worked for a long time in Portugal, forming a school of sculptors there. At the beginning of the century. XIX the engraver F. Bartolozzi settled in Lisbon and directed the Academy of Fine Arts there; churches, the National Theater, other minor theaters were built and decorated by Italian artists.