Artibus et Historiae no. 23 (XII)

1991, ISSN 0391-9064

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DAVID R. MARSHALL - The Roman Baths Theme from Viviano Codazzi to G. P. Panini: Transmission and Transformation

By postulating a particular mechanism by which forms are passed from one painting of this type to another, one can find relationships between a number of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century architectural caprices. Unlike the figure painters, architectural painters did not think in terms of the great masterpieces of their particular genre; instead, forms were passed from one artist to the next without returning to the ultimate sources of the immediate model. As a result, form changed progressively to the point where their origins can hardly be discerned. If one puts in the intermediate steps, however, the relationships become clear.

This article, therefore, attempts to connect a painting by Viviano Codazzi of c. 1650 (Chambéry), with one by G. P. Panini of c. 1720 (Frankfurt)-both of which represent imaginary ancient baths but are otherwise very different-by tracing a series of smaller changes in paintings by these artists and others (Niccolo Codazzi, Filippo Gagliardi, Marco and Sebastiano Ricci, Raffaelo Rinaldi [Il Menia], and Antonio Joli) during the intervening period.

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