Artibus et Historiae no. 71 (XXXVI)

2015, ISSN 0391-9064

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PAUL JOANNIDES - Revival or Continuity? Three Turns about Pontormo (pp. 91-112)

This article is divided into three parts, all of which concern paintings by, formerly attributed to, or associated with Pontormo. The first part treats the well-known predella in Dublin which has been attributed, in turn, to Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo, the circle of Pontormo, Maso da San Friano, Mirabello Cavalori, and Carlo Portelli; the author argues, in part on the grounds of the predella’s Perugian provenance, in part on a nineteenth-century reference to it, and in part on its visual sources, that the predella is in fact by the Perugian painter Domenico Alfani and that it was originally placed beneath his Nativity with St Anne now in the National Gallery of Umbria, Perugia, a work of the mid-1530s.

The second section discusses the small painting in the National Gallery, London, known as the Conversation which, traditionally attributed to Pontormo, was in the 1960s given alternatively to Andrea Lilio and to Mirabello Cavalori; that to Lilio is now superseded but the latter, to Mirabello, is currently upheld by the gallery. Arguments are advanced against this attribution and the author contends, on the grounds of the painting’s forms, mise-en-scène and colour that it is indeed a minor work by Pontormo, datable to the first half of the 1520s. The third part focuses on the small panel of the Virgin and Child with Saints Francis and Jerome and two Angels in the Uffizi, traditionally given to Pontormo but now generally accepted as an early work by Bronzino, painted under Pontormo’s influence,  but which, in recent years, has also been shifted to Cavalori. The author argues in favour of maintaining the attribution to Bronzino, in part by reference a drawing by Pontormo now in the Prince’s Gate Collection of the Courtauld Institute.

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