Artibus et Historiae no. 25 (XIII)

1992, ISSN 0391-9064

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ANDREA EMILIANI - The Entombment of Christ by Federico Barocci in the Church of Santa Croce, Senigallia: A Previously Unpublished "bozzetto per i colori" and Other Contributions to Our Knowledge of the Artist

In 1579, the lay Confraternity of the Cross and the Blessed Sacrament in Senigallia commissioned Federico Barocci to paint a large multi-figured Entombment of Christ for their Church of Santa Croce. The altarpiece cost the artist nearly three years of intense intellectual and physical labor, and is generally acknowledged to be one of the supreme masterpieces of the Italian Counter-Reformation.

The development of the work, traced here, is paradigmatic of Barocci's painstakingly elaborate painting method, which entailed producing a multitude of compositional, anatomical, and drapery studies, as well as modelli amd large-scale cartoons in which problems of chiaroscuro and color were fully worked out in advance. Published for the first time is the "bozzetto per i colori" for The Entombment. In addition, the author expands the known corpus of related works to include an oil sketch of the head and shoulders of St. Mary Magdalene and a drawing of the head of one of the Virgin's attendants.

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