Glorification of the reign of Urban VIII, Palazzo Barberini, Rome
- (1633-1639)Commissioned by the Barberini from Pietro da Cortona, the Glorification of the Reign of Urban VIII shows Divine Providence commanding Immortality to crown the Barberini escutcheon, composed of bees contained in a laurel wreath held by Faith, Charity, and Hope. This main scene is enclosed in an illusionistic quadratura framework, partially concealed by fictive garlands, shells, masks, and other decorative elements. The scenes on the outer parameters of the fresco are mythological representations that refer to the pope's deeds: Minerva Destroying Insolence and Pride for his courageous fight against heresy, Silenus and the Satyrs for his ability to overcome lust and intemperance, Hercules Driving out the Harpies for his sense of justice, and The Temple of Janus for his prudence. The scene graces the ceiling of the Barberini Palace's grand salon and was meant to awe visitors and impart upon them its propagandist message. The dynamism of the scene, with its heavy foreshortening and elaborate allegorical content, had not been seen in art before. With this work, Cortona opened a new universe of possibilities in the field of ceiling fresco painting.
Historical dictionary of Renaissance art. Lilian H. Zirpolo. 2008.
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Berretini da Cortona, Pietro — (1597 1669) Tuscan painter and architect who trained in Florence in the studio of the Mannerist Andrea Commodi. In c. 1612, Commodi took Cortona to Rome and placed him in the workshop of his colleague Baccio Ciarpi. Sometime in the 1620s,… … Dictionary of Renaissance art
Quadratura — A term used to describe ceiling painting that uses fictitious architecture rendered in perspective to arrange coherently the image s figural and compositional elements. Examples are the Farnese ceiling (c. 1598 1600) in the Palazzo Farnese,… … Dictionary of Renaissance art
painting, Western — ▪ art Introduction history of Western painting from its beginnings in prehistoric times to the present. Painting, the execution of forms and shapes on a surface by means of pigment (but see also drawing for discussion of depictions in … Universalium
Di sotto in sù — A ceiling painting technique whereby figures are heavily foreshortened to appear to be floating above the viewer. Andrea Mantegna used the technique on the ceiling of the Camera Picta in the Ducal Palace in Mantua (1465 1474), and Melozzo da… … Dictionary of Renaissance art
Silenus — Depending on the ancient source consulted, Silenus is either the son of Pan or Mercury. Custodian, educator, and follower of Bacchus, he is normally represented in art as a jolly heavy set figure who rides on a donkey, wears a crown of flowers … Dictionary of Renaissance art
Cortona / Sacchi controversy — (c. 1630) The term refers to a series of theoretical debates that took place in the Accademia di San Luca, Rome, regarding the proper representation of histories. A group, led by Andrea Sacchi, declared that history paintings should be… … Dictionary of Renaissance art
Minerva — Minerva (Pallas) is the goddess of wisdom and daughter of Jupiter and Metis. She was born from her father s head an adult dressed as a warrior with helmet, shield, and breastplate. On her shield is the head of Medusa as she was the one who… … Dictionary of Renaissance art