Artibus et Historiae no. 81 (XLI)2020, ISSN 0391-9064
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MICHEL HOCHMANN - À propos d’un album de photographies méconnu : Simone Bianco et Tiziano Aspetti au palais Grimani de Santa Maria Formosa (pp. 157–172)
An album of photographs presenting views of the Palazzo Grimani di Santa Maria Formosa was published by the photographer L. Brusa at the very end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. A discovery of a complete exemplar of this very rare publication in the library of the National Gallery of Art in Washington revealed photos of a number of sculptures held in the palace at that time, before they were scattered or, in some cases, lost. The latter applies especially to the marble bust of Doge Antonio Grimani, which was exhibited on the mantelpiece in a space called the Doge’s Room (camera del doge). We do not know the present whereabouts of this sculpture but Brusa’s photographs allow for attributing it to Simone Bianco. The piece is a splendid example of the art of this sculptor and of the genre of all’antica portrait bust in the Renaissance. The portrait of the doge was flanked on the mantelpiece by two busts of Roman emperors (Caracalla and Vitellius), possibly by the hand of Tiziano Aspetti who, just like Simone Bianco, restored a fair number of ancient busts in the Grimani collection. Also to Aspetti should be re-attributed the four reliefs which used to decorate the Tribuna of the Palazzo Grimani. All these sculptures additionally bring new information on the taste of the Grimani and on their influence on the artists they employed.