Artibus et Historiae no. 77 (XXXIX)

2018, ISSN 0391-9064

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GIOVAN BATTISTA FIDANZA - The Ephemeral Apparatus for the Funeral of Jan III Sobieski in Rome: Cardinal Carlo Barberini’s Art and Politics (pp. 319–333)

This article deals with the catafalque and ephemeral apparatus commissioned by Cardinal Carlo Barberini for the absente corpore funeral of Jan III Sobieski, which took place in Rome on 10 December 1696 at the Church of St Stanislaus. Thanks to a number of unpublished documents (from the Barberini Archive of the Vatican Library) it was possible to identify both the artists and artisans involved in the construction and decoration of the catafalque and ephemeral apparatus. Worthy of note is also the discovery of the sum total spent on this funeral by Carlo Barberini, at that time the Cardinal Protector of Poland, an office involving his engagement in political and diplomatic affairs. During the research for this essay, the documents relative to payments for both the etching depicting Jan III’s catafalque (by Pietro Santi Bartoli) and the plate from which it was printed have emerged.

The most interesting result of the research is the identification of the painter Philipp Jakob Wörndle from Austria as the author of six oval canvases depicting episodes of Jan III’s life, of which only four survive, in storage at the Gallerie Nazionali di Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini in Rome.

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